A 19-year-old Dalit woman succumbed to her grievous injuries in Delhi today, nearly two weeks after she was raped and tortured by four men in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras.
The woman was yesterday shifted to Safdarjung Hospital, after her condition didn't improve at the Aligarh hospital. At the time of her transfer, her pulse rate was 52.
All the four accused have been held.
On September 14, the woman had gone to fields to cut grass with her family.
The attackers, belonging to upper castes, pounced on her, dragged her by her dupatta, took her to a bajra field before brutally assaulting her.
"I was sitting 100-meter from her. I could have saved her. I wish I wasn't hard of hearing," the victim's mother had said earlier.
"My mother realized she was missing and went looking for her. My sister was found unconscious. They had raped her," her brother told NDTV, adding that the accused attacked his sister from behind. Reportedly, she was the youngest among five siblings.
The victim was left with a deep cut in her tongue and suffered serious injuries in the spinal cord because she was dragged mercilessly.
Dr. Fakhrul Hoda, the chief of the neurosurgery department at Aligarh's hospital, earlier told TOI, "Surgery to fix her spine could only be done if her condition improved. Damage to the spinal cord appeared to be permanent."
Yesterday, she was brought to Delhi on her father's request and was immediately put on life support. Unfortunately, she couldn't survive.
Earlier, the tormented family had slammed UP Police for being complacent and not acting against the accused. The perpetrators were arrested only after public outrage, they claimed.
However, denying charges of laxity, Hathras police officer Prakash Kumar said they were proactive.
The accused — Sandeep, Ramu, Lavkush, and Ravi — have now been arrested and booked for rape and murder. Relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were also evoked against them.
They were nabbed after the victim named them in her statement on September 23, when she had briefly gained consciousness.
Her family claimed Sandeep is an alcoholic and always harasses Dalits.
As it turns out, ties between the woman's and Sandeep's families were strained after his grandfather thrashed her grandfather over a small issue, nearly two decades ago.
He remained in jail for three months for this crime.
"They are upper castes and have always called us names. We ignore them. Sandeep harasses women, but nobody ever files a complaint," the victim's brother lamented.
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