UP Police on Sunday registered an FIR against unknown persons under various sections of the IPC for inciting caste-based violence in the state.
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad on way to Hathras on Sunday. PTI
On Sunday, the UP Police filed an FIR citing an international conspiracy to incite riots along with caste-based riots, after 19-year-old Dalit girl from Hathras village who was allegedly brutally assaulted by four upper-caste men, succumbed to injuries in Delhi’s Safdarjang Hospital last week. Her death and speedy cremation by the police against the will of her family has sparked off massive protests against the casteist police department and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adithyanath.
This comes after Yogi Adithyanath's statement in an interview with ANI when he said "Our opponents are conspiring against us by trying to lay a foundation for caste & communal riots through international funding. For last one week, opposition parties were keen to see riots. We need to move forward amidst all these conspiracies."
UPDATE (6/10/20 1:52 PM IST): The UP Government has asked the Supreme Court to order CBI inquiry to ensure that a fair and impartial investigation takes place by a Central Agency "which is not within the administrative control of the state administration", not only into the case related to the alleged rape and murder of the 19-year-old Dalit woman of Hathras, but also into the case registered by the UP Police alleging criminal conspiracy to spread caste conflict by sections of media and political interests using the Hathras incident.
The case itself has come to light because of the gross brutality and mismanagement that has caused the family and the entire nation grief. Soon after her death, the police cremated her at night, apparently against her family's wishes who begged the police to let them take her home one last time and apply Haldi on the victim as per their traditions. Soon after the cremation, the UP police also released an autopsy report claiming that there was no rape the samples did not contain sperm. There are however contentions to this, one being that you don't need to find semen to prove rape, rather medical professionals look for penetration and bruising, and also experts question the report as it is based on samples collected 11 days after the assault. The victim also made a dying declaration that contradicts the report, with both a magistrate and a medical officer present, which under Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act, will be admissible in court.
The Allahabad High Court on Thursday sent out summons to top Uttar Pradesh officials, summoning the Uttar Pradesh additional chief secretary, Director General of police and additional director general of police on October 12 in connection with the case. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath late on Friday announced the suspension of the Hathras district police chief and four others. However, this only means that because the court summoned by designation, these officers will not be eligible to testify in court, a point brought up by judicial activists in protest against the state government's move.
Reporters, activists, protesters and even opposition leaders have been blocked from the village, and from any contact with the family. In fact, the police tapped the victim's brother's phone as a clip of his telephone conversation with India Today reporter Tanushree Pandey was released on pro-government website and on social media. Section 144 was imposed in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh on Friday to stop gatherings and protests in the village.
The SIT recommended polygraph and narco tests for everyone involved in the case, including the accused and the victim's family. Members of the Special Investigation Team also proposed that a narco test be conducted on the victim’s kin, a treatment that was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2010 as a violation of a person's autonomy.
“An individual’s decision to make a statement is the product of a private choice and there should be no scope for any other individual to interfere with such autonomy,” the apex court had held.
At a meeting at the house of former BJP MLA Rajvir Singh Pehalvan in Hathras, he ‘defended’ the accused and sought an FIR against the victim’s family. Pehalvan’s son denied the gathering comprised members from the upper castes, claiming they were from ‘various sections’.
On Monday, despite the month-long imposition of section 144, Rajveer Pahalwan organised a protest at his residence in support of the Thakurs. It was attended by right-wing groups such as the Bajrang Dal, Karni Sena and the RSS, some members of which are also part of caste-based organisations such as the Rashtriya Savarna Sangathan and Kshatriya Mahasabha.