CBI takes over Hathras probe; agency to also investigate 'conspiracy'
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the investigation into the alleged gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. Reportedly, the CBI will also look into the alleged criminal conspiracy in the case to defame the UP government. The case came into national limelight after the 19-year-old victim died late last month, a fortnight after the assault.
The CBI had on Saturday issued a notification for the CBI to take over the probe. The notification has been marked to a suitable branch of the agency, officials told PTI. They said probe teams will be dispatched to the crime scene immediately after an FIR is registered. On the state government's request, the CBI will also probe the alleged criminal conspiracy, officials said.
The UP government had on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to direct a CBI probe into the case to ensure that no vested interests can create a false narrative with "oblique motives." Notably, the state government had earlier dismissed widespread protests against the case—which included calls for a CBI probe—as "political stunts." Instead, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) had been tasked with the case.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman was attacked at her village in Hathras while she was cutting grass on September 14. The four accused—Sandeep (20), his uncle Ravi (35), Ramu (27), and Luv Kush (19)—hail from the Shikhawat Thakur community, considered an upper caste in the social strata. The victim was gang-raped brutally. She succumbed to her injuries during treatment in Delhi two weeks later.
Reportedly, the family was threatened by the police. The victim's corpse was also hastily cremated against the wishes of the family, whom the police had allegedly locked up in their own home. Further, the UP Police had denied rape, relying on a report that found no semen on the victim. Experts disputed this claim saying the samples were taken 11 days after the assault.
Further, the UP Police has filed 19 FIRs against "unknown people," alleging an "international conspiracy" to defame the state government. The police alleged that some political groups and other organizations were trying to incite caste-related violence in the state.