Tribune News Service
New Delhi, Oct 6
The Congress came down heavily on the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh after the state told the apex court on Tuesday that the Hathras tragedy victim was cremated with full rituals and customs after convincing her family in the wake of a potential law and order threat had last rites been delayed.
“Stop this cover-up,” Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev said after the UP government submitted a detailed affidavit on the incident to the court. The government said a massive build-up of political and Dalit leaders after the girl’s death on September 29 led the Hathras administration to convince the victim’s family to cremate her at night with all religious rituals.
The Congress demanded immediate dismissal of the Yogi government and said the state’s affidavit was nothing but “lies.”
The family of the 19-year-old woman, who died after the September 14, has been alleging that the cops cremated her in the wee hours of September 30 by stealth, without their consent.
The Congress slammed the affidavit for saying no rape had taken place and recalled the girl’s last statement to cops where she said she was gang-raped by four men.
“Yogi government has been indulging in a cover-up since day one and has no right to continue in office. It should be dismissed immediately,” said Dev, who was accompanied by Congress leader Supriya Shrinate.
The affidavit of UP government mentions a build-up of politicians and activists outside Safdarjung Hospital starting the announcement of the girl’s demise on the morning of September 29.
The affidavit says the crowds “influenced” the girl’s family not to receive the body until their demands were met—among demands being “Rs one crore compensation, a house, a job for the kin and hanging of the four accused.”
The affidavit goes on to say that cops transported the body from Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital to Hathras with difficulty due to mobilisation of gathering around the ambulance.
“With much difficulty, they reached the victim’s village in Hathras at 12.45 am. Around 200 to 250 people were already present when the victim’s body reached and the policemen were controlling the crowd. They blocked the ambulance, gheraoed the family and started sloganeering to stop them from cremating the body. The body was kept till 2.30 am with the family.”
The affidavit adds that after intelligence received by Hathras administration regarding the presence of massive crowds in the village the next morning the administration decided to convince the family to “cremate the body with full religious rituals at night, to avoid large scale violence in the morning as the body had been lying for almost 20 hours since her death and post mortem.”
The state has said to the court that there was no objective, other than maintenance of laws and order behind cremating the body at night.
“Once the post mortem had been done by Safdarjung Hospital Delhi there could have been no bad intention on anyone’s part to expedite the cremation except to obviate a potential violent situation resulting from planned caste divide by certain vested interests,” says the affidavit which the Congress today rejected as false.
The affidavit also says the victim’s first statement on the day of the attack on September 14 said she was attacked by one accused who tried to strangulate her.
The victim gave a second statement on September 19 alleging molestation by the same accused.
She gave a third statement on September 22 accusing four boys of gang-raping her.
The state affidavit says the Aligarh hospital where the victim was admitted first as well as FSL Agra did not conclude rape in their findings.
The opposition Congress accused the state of falsehood in the matter and asked them to prove the girl they cremated on September 30 was indeed the Hathras victim.