IANS & iNDICA NEWS BUREAU
The Uttar Pradesh government told India’s Supreme Court Tuesday that the 19-year-old girl from Hathras who died after allegedly being gang-raped and tortured was cremated at night due to intelligence inputs of a major law and order problem.
The state filed an affidavit with the court even before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde heard a public interest litigation Tuesday for a CBI or SIT (special investigation team) probe into the Hathras case.
In its affidavit, the state justified the cremation of the victim — who died September 29 at a Delhi hospital — at 2.30am September 30 as there was the “likelihood that the protesters could have turned violent.”
“There was a high alert in the district due to the pronouncement of the Babri Masjid demolition case verdict too,” said the government affidavit.
It said the Hathras district administration had received several intelligence inputs since September 29 morning that “the whole issue was being exploited and a caste and communal color was being given to it.”
“In such extraordinary and severe circumstances, the district administration took the decision to convince her parents to cremate the body with all religious rites in the night to avoid large-scale violence in the morning,” the affidavit added.
The Uttar Pradesh Police allegedly took away the 19-year-old victim’s body from the Delhi hospital on September 29 and drove to her village in Hathras.
The bereaved family urged officials to allow it to take the body home one last time and even tried to stop the ambulance carrying the body. However, the family alleged, they were locked in their home during the funeral.
Chandrashekhar Azad, chief of the Dalit rights outfit Bhim Army, retorted to the Uttar Pradesh government stance with a question of rights.
“Will the rights of the people be terminated in the name of security? What is the use of law and order then,” he asked.
“When there can be security arrangements made for people leaving from Delhi, then those who incite violence can also be stopped. Who wants to commit violence? So far no violence has been carried out by the victim’s family. Will the rights of the people be terminated due to security?”
He added: “For the first time I have seen how the police operates in Ram rajya. The police’s job across the country is to collect evidence. But police work in India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, is to destroy evidence. The victim’s family did not give their signatures to take the body away. The victim’s family was in Delhi and the body went to UP, how is this possible?
“Why was there no attention paid to the demands of the aggrieved family? They were ready to accompany the police. It is a crime to take the body away without the consent of the victim’s family.”