India: Protests erupt over alleged cremation of rape victim

1 October 2020

Written by: Thomas Frajsman

The act has caused outrage throughout India.

Protests have emerged across India following an alleged cremation of a 19-year-old gang rape victim which occurred without her family’s permission.

The Dalit woman — a community in the lower threshold of India’s caste system — was attacked and raped on 14 September near her home in Hathras district. Police have since arrested four men in relation to the crime.

Having sustained serious injuries, including a broken spine, the victim died two weeks later on Tuesday in a New Delhi hospital.

On Wednesday, her family said that neither police nor government officials sought their permission before cremating her in a ceremony that family members were barred from.

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

The family “begged” authorities to allow them to undertake the victim’s funeral rites in her home village in Uttar Pradesh state. The chief minister of the state, Yogi Adityanath, has ordered a special investigation team into the case against the perpetrators.

Police have detained several opposition party members and women activists who attempted street protests in New Delhi following the revelations. Slogans against Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were reportedly shouted by protestors.

Celebrities have also spoken out against the act via social media, calling for change in the current legal system. The hashtag #HathrasHorror has been gaining traction.

Uttar Pradesh ranks as the most unsafe state for women in the country.



Photo: people walking through street during night time by Aman Upadhyay available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.