New Delhi: Three of the four accused in the case of the 2020 gang-rape and torture of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras of Uttar Pradesh were acquitted by a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe court today, March 2. None of the accused have been found guilty of gang-rape.
The teenager’s eventual death while undergoing treatment in Delhi and the Uttar Pradesh Police’s hurried cremation of her body – during which they allegedly did not allow members of her family to be present – had led to a nationwide stir. The men accused of the crime were ‘upper’ caste Thakurs, leading many to question years of caste injustice.
Investigation was eventually handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Now, only one man, 20-year-old Sandeep, was found guilty of committing culpable homicide not amounting to murder, under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code, LiveLaw has reported. Sandeep has also been charged under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The three other accused, Ravi (35), Luv Kush (23), and Ramu (26), were pronounced not guilty.
Significantly, LiveLaw has reported that none of the four accused have been found guilty of the offence of gang-rape by the special court. In the victim’s dying declaration before the district magistrate, she had named and accused three men – Luv Kush, Ravi and Ramu – of sexual assault.
The chargesheet filed by the CBI had faulted the Uttar Pradesh Police for ignoring the woman’s statement.
The CBI chargesheet had stated: “During her examination on September 22, the victim categorically stated that she was gangraped by the four accused persons; she also named them in her dying declaration… It establishes that on September 14, the victim was gangraped at the bajra field when she was alone. Investigation also revealed that all four accused were present in the village or nearby place, which corroborates the allegation of the victim.”