Top officials of Uttar Pradesh government and the state police have been summoned by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, which today took note of the Hathras gang rape case that had evoked widespread outrage. The officials have been asked to present themselves before the court on October 12.
The family members of the 20-year-old woman who died on Tuesday, were also asked to be present so the judges could ascertain the facts about the 2 am forced cremation by the police which has shocked the nation.
In its notice, the court said the matter is of “immense public importance and public interest as it involves allegation of high-handedness by the State authorities resulting in violation of basic human and fundamental rights not only of the deceased victim but also her family members”.
As it is, the woman was treated with “extreme brutality by the perpetrators of the crime and what is alleged to have happened thereafter, if true, amounts to perpetuating the misery of the family and rubbing salt in their wounds”.
The woman, a member of the Scheduled Castes, had died at a Delhi hospital after fighting for her life for two weeks. Half strangled, bearing multiple fractures, naked, bleeding and paralysed, she was left for dead in a field by her so-called upper caste attackers on September 19.
The police cremated the body around 2 am, without allowing the family to hold last rites or even allowing them to take her home for the last time. They were kept locked up inside their house and not allowed to attend the funeral.
Outside the Delhi hospital and along the way, the woman’s family had thrown themselves before the ambulance carrying the body on Tuesday. Some were even seen prostrating themselves, but the police were unmoved.
The heart-wrenching visuals and the family’s account of the police chasing them and keeping them penned up inside the house have drawn huge criticism towards the Yogi Adityanath government.