Hathras case: CBI charges four accused with gang-rape, murder
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday charged the four accused in the Hathras case with gang-rape and murder. The case pertains to the alleged gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras earlier in September. The charge sheet has been filed on the basis of the victim's last statement on September 22. Here are more details.
Reportedly, the charge sheet has been filed under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 376A (causing death), 376D (gang-rape), and 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code. It also invokes charges under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The charge sheet—which names the four accused Sandeep, Luvkush, Ravi, and Ramu—has been filed in a Hathras court.
The CBI had recently sought more time to conclude its investigation. Thereafter, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court fixed January 27 as the next date of hearing in the case. The Supreme Court had earlier directed the HC to monitor the CBI probe.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly attacked and gang-raped at her village in Hathras while she was cutting grass on September 14. The four accused hail from the Shekhawat Thakur community, which is considered an "upper caste" in the social strata. The victim was shifted to the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, where she succumbed to her injuries during treatment on September 29.
The CBI had taken over the investigation after the recommendation of the UP government. Notably, the UP administration had faced flak for its handling of the case. The victim's family had alleged that they were threatened by the UP Police, which had earlier claimed that the victim had not been gang-raped. The police also allegedly cremated the victim's body hurriedly against the family's wishes.
The CBI had assigned the investigation to its Ghaziabad unit. The agency has looked into the role of the four accused, who remain in judicial custody. The investigators have also met doctors at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, where the victim received initial treatment. They have also recorded statements of family members of the victim.