Police, protesters clash in India after gang-rape victim cremated

আপডেট: অক্টোবর ১, ২০২০

Clashes have erupted between police and protesters in several parts of India after authorities cremated the body of a victim who had been gang-raped by four upper-caste men against her family’s wishes.

According to Press TV, the victim, who was not named due to laws against naming victims of sexual violence, was from the marginalized Dalit community. She died on Tuesday of injuries she sustained on September 14 when she was attacked and raped in a field near her home in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district, 100 kilometers from the capital, New Delhi. Four men were arrested in connection with the rape.

The sexual assault, the latest to shock India where sexual violence is endemic, caused anger in the country and was further fueled when the victim’s family said on Wednesday that she had been cremated in her native village in Uttar Pradesh State at about 2 am (0730 GMT) on Wednesday without their permission and against their religious custom, raising doubts about the police’s commitment to a proper probe.

“I wasn’t even allowed to see the body of my daughter one final time before they burned it,” the victim’s mother told reporters.

Praveen Kumar Laxar, a district magistrate, denied that the victim’s cremation had taken place without her family’s permission, saying, “With their consent only was she cremated. Her family members were present there. To make this allegation is absolutely wrong.”

The victim’s brothersaid, “We begged the authorities and police that we wanted to perform the funerary rite in the morning, but they did not listen to us and the rite was performed by them.”

“We were put behind the barricades they formed using the police force. We could not even see the face of our dead sister,” he said.

The All India Progressive Women’s Association said the police action “reeks of caste supremacy.”

Angry protesters took to the streets of Hathras on Wednesday but were met by police, who struck them with batons.

Reports said that several dozen protesters were arrested outside the Uttar Pradesh state government headquarters.

Scuffles also took place between angry protesters and police in the capital, where dozens of protesters chanted anti-government slogans.