In the case of a woman’s alleged gang rape and torture in Hathras, which has caused nationwide anger, the Uttar Pradesh police claim there is evidence that the victim’s family knew one of the accused.
The 20-year-old Dalit woman was assaulted by four upper caste men of her village on September 14. She died last Tuesday of horrific injuries from the attack; she had multiple fractures, spinal injuries, a broken neck and a gash in her tongue.
The UP police say call records reveal that the woman’s brother had was in touch with one of the four men arrested for the crime.
Some 104 calls were made between the woman’s brother and accused Sandeep Thakur from October last year to March, the police claim.
“The victim’s brother will be questioned on the basis of the call records,” sources have told NDTV.
The information that has emerged on the call records is seen to push the UP police narrative that there is more to the case than caste rivalry and that the young woman knew her alleged attackers.
To explore these details, a Special Investigation Team or SIT inquiring into the case has been given 10 more days. The team was to submit its report today but has been given an extension on the orders of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a top official said today.
The three-member team questioned the woman’s brother today. “I don’t know anything about the call details, no one from my family was speaking to them. We will request the police to release the call recordings if they have,” he said, denying the UP police claim.
The UP police, facing criticism over its handling of the case and accused by the woman’s family of a slow response to the initial complaint, have been contesting several facts in the case.
The police in Hathras say the woman’s allegation of gang rape is not borne out by forensic reports. Experts question this claim, pointing out that the woman’s samples were taken a week after the incident.
Public fury went up several degrees when the woman was cremated at 2.30 am by the police in the absence of her family. Her parents had pleaded with the cops to be allowed to take the body home and perform the funeral the next morning.
The police told the Supreme Court yesterday that the dead-of-night cremation was necessary because of intelligence inputs of large-scale violence the next morning. They also say there is no question of any cover-up attempt as the post-mortem had been done.