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In dead of night, UP cops cremate gang-rape victim

HATHRAS/UP: Before daybreak and in an inexplicable hurry, the 19-year-old Dalit girl, who had died in Delhis Safdarjung Hospital on Tuesday 15 days after being tortured and gang-raped allegedly by four upper caste men in her village, was cremated by police at 2.40am on Wednesday. Her relatives said they never consented; police and administration said they did.
“Police wanted us to cremate her body without any delay,” the girls brother told TOI. Her sister-in-law said, “Not a single family member was present at the cremation (in the middle of a field in the village). We were all home, scared of being beaten up by police.” However, Hathras DM Praveen K Laxkar said “permission (to cremate her) had been taken from the family”.
As outrage mounted, Yogi Adityanath tweeted that PM Narendra Modi had asked him to ensure strict action against the accused. The UP CM spoke to the family, promising them Rs 25 lakh in compensation, a government job for a family member as a school teacher, a house, and that the trial would be taken up in a fast-track court.
Around 12.50am, a black car rode into Boolgarhi, the girls village in UP, an ambulance behind it. Her father and cousin were in the car and a police officer in the ambulance from Safdarjung Hospital. DM Laxkar said the ambulance was parked outside her house. District officials and police reached the house to negotiate with the family. In a video that has been circulating, the family can be seen arguing that they would want to follow funerary rituals, to which a police officer responds by saying that rituals “should adapt”.
“An administration official came home and told us that someone from the family should go with him to cremate her. We didnt go, assuming they wouldnt cremate her without anyone from the family. Sometime later, people from the media came asking us what we would do now that she had been cremated. Thats when we got to know,” the girls sister-in-law told TOI. Those present at the site later said the police had cordoned off the area where she was cremated.
The DM dismissed that. “There was no pressure. Permission had been taken from the family,” Laxkar said. He did not answer questions about the time chosen. He did not deny, however, that family members were absent. Police, later in the day, shared a video that shows a person standing next to the pyre, implying family was present. The girls sister-in-law refuted that.
When the family did get to know, they said, they rushed there to find a burning pyre in the middle of the fields. Her mother broke down before the ambulance, locals turned irate and chaos ensued. “All I wanted was to see her off the right way. She will never come back,” the inconsolable mother told TOI in the morning. By then, the village had turned into a fortRead More – Source