A 20-year-old woman, who died on Tuesday in Delhi two weeks after she was gang-raped and tortured in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, was cremated by policemen last night, allegedly as her family and relatives were locked up in their homes.
A disturbing sequence of events captured in overnight visuals shows the family arguing with cops, female relatives throwing themselves on the hood of the ambulance carrying the body and a mother weeping helplessly as cops insist on taking her daughter straight to cremation, without allowing a last look.
The woman died in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital yesterday morning. She had suffered multiple fractures, paralysis and a gash in her tongue in the horrific assault that drew parallels to the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape. But long after her death, her family had to endure a night of unending horror. As protesters outside the Delhi hospital chanted “hang the rapists”, the woman’s brothers complained that her body had been whisked away by the UP police without their knowledge. Her father and brothers sat on protest but they were taken away by the cops in a black Scorpio with UP plates.
The woman’s body was taken to her village in Hathras, about 200 km from Delhi, after midnight. As her family and villagers suspected the UP police wanted to complete the last rites right then, in the middle of the night, they insisted that this was “against their tradition”; the woman’s father pleaded with the police to be allowed to take her home and cremate her in the morning.
“We wanted the last rites to be performed according to the Hindu traditions. Despite our protests, the cremation was performed. They took the body forcefully. We couldn’t see our daughter’s face for the last time,” the woman told a TV news channel.