Hathras case: CBI’s FIR invokes penal code sections in contradiction to UP Police claims
Meanwhile, the family of the victim appeared in front of the Allahabad court on Monday and reaffirmed that authorities had cremated her without permission
There are conflicting signals over how the Central Burau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the Hathras gang-rape case will proceed. After taking over the case, the CBI on Sunday registered an FIR under Sections 376D (gang rape), 307 (attempt to murder) and 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of the SC/ST Act (offences of atrocities). The case has been assigned to the Ghaziabad unit with a special team to investigate the crime.
This was in contradiction to what the Uttar Pradesh police probes and FIRs were about. However, hours after posting the FIR online, the CBI removed it and then issued a press release stating that they were taking over the “attempt to murder” case.
A 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four Thakur men on September 14, 2020, and despite many attempts by her family, the police did not register a case immediately. She was first taken to a hospital in Aligarh and then shifted to Safdarjung hospital, where she succumbed to her severe injuries a a fortnight later. The district administration forcefully cremated her body at night without allowing her family to be present for the last rites.
Meanwhile, the family of the victim appeared in front of the Allahabad court on Monday and reaffirmed that authorities had cremated her without permission.
The CBI has stated that it would also be inquiring into the forceful cremation of the teenager by the district administration, in addition to the allegations of negligence and delay in filing an FIR on September 14.
The case was handed over to the CBI after a political uproar. The UP government has been accused of protecting the accused Thakur men. The UP police filed 19 FIRs in the case against ‘unidentified persons’ but none against the main accused.
The Uttar Pradesh police claimed that no rape had occurred as no semen had been found as per a forensic report. However, forensic experts have pointed out that there was very little chance of the semen being found on the girl because samples were taken 11 days after the alleged rape. A medical examination should have been conducted within 24 hours of the crime being reported.
The UP police then went ahead and lodged an FIR against "unknown" persons for an attempt to trigger caste-based conflict and invoked sedition charges in the case. The FIR included IPC sections 24A (sedition), 505 (intending to cause public alarm), 153A (promoting enmity between groups) and Section 67 (transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the IT Act. All of these pertained to materials being forged, manipulated and circulated through social media.
In one of the 19 FIRs filed by the UP police, it was alleged that the family of the girl who was gang-raped was offered Rs 50 lakh to lie about the state government. The police had also claimed that there was a deep conspiracy in Hathras and that the truth would be investigated.