Even as the country is witnessing an outrage against the brutal gangrape and murder of a 19-year-old woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, another similar incident of gang rape, a little more than 500 km from Hathras, from the state’s Balrampur district has shocked the nation again.
A 22-year-old Dalit woman died, while being rushed to a hospital in Lucknow, after being allegedly raped and assaulted by two youths, on Tuesday evening.
The police, meanwhile, have said that two accused in the case have been arrested, but also claimed that the post-mortem has not revealed injuries to the woman. The police have not spoken officially on whether rape has been confirmed by a medical examination.
The woman’s mother said she was abducted in the morning while on her way to secure a college admission. When she failed to return in time, the family launched a search for the woman.
The family claimed that she returned around 7PM, and that the assailants had allegedly put her on an e-rickshaw and sent her home.
“She had gone to get her admission done at 10 in the morning. We have the receipts. On her way back 3-4 men forcibly put her in their car, injected her and raped her. They [accused] broke her back and her legs and sent her back in a rickshaw. She had no strength left to even walk,” the woman’s mother said, weeping.
“My daughter cried and said, ‘Save me, I do not want to die’,” the mother added.
“The doctor at the local hospital said her condition is serious and advised that she be taken to Lucknow. But she died when we were near Balrampur town,” the devastated family wailed.
The police handed over her body to her relatives who cremated her on Wednesday.
The Balrampur police claimed that the woman was raped at a grocery store in the Gaisari village. It, however, rejected claimed that legs or spine of the victim were broken.
“Taking quick action in the case, both accused in the case have been arrested. However, the reports of legs and back being broken have not been confirmed by the post-mortem report,” the police said.
Dev Ranjan, Superintendent of Police (SP), Balrampur, said that the victim’s family alleged that two men raped her. “We have received a complaint in which the family of a 22-year-old woman said that she used to work at the firm. On Wednesday, she did not return from the firm. Later, when she did return home on a rickshaw, she had a glucose drip inserted in her hand,”
Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav made a jibe at the Yogi Adityanath government, asking it to not “attempt a cover-up” as in the Hathras case.
“After Hathras, another gang-rape incident has surfaced in Balrampur in which the woman died after torture. The BJP government should not attempt a cover up here like Hathras and should quickly take action against the accused,” his tweet in Hindi read.
The Hathras woman, who was also a Dalit, was attacked on September 19 when she had gone to cut grass for fodder. Her assailants had left her in the in the fields half strangled, bearing multiple fractures, tongue gashed, naked, bleeding and paralysed.
Her body was cremated by the Uttar Pradesh police in the middle of the night. Her family was kept locked up and not given a chance to bring her home for the last time and give her last rites.
The state has been under huge criticism and public anger is growing over issue.