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She was at least entitled to decent cremation: High Court on Hathras

Lucknow/New Delhi: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has said no one should indulge in character assassination of the victim just as the accused should not be pronounced guilty before a fair trial.

The court, which took up the matter suo motu, is hearing the account of the government and the family of the 20-year-old who died last month after brutal torture and alleged gang-rape.

Earlier on Monday, the court reportedly chided the UP Police for cremating the 19-year-old Dalit woman who died after allegedly being raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras in the middle of the night.

According to the counsel for the victim's family, the Bench of Justices Pankaj Mithal and Rajan Roy asked ADG (Law and Order), Prashant Kumar, if he would have allowed his daughter to be cremated the same way? The court also questioned if the police action would have been similar if the victim came from a rich family, the counsel told the media after the hearing.

The HC bench had summoned UP Additional Chief Secretary, DGP, Hathras DM and SP, apart from the ADG (Law and Order). The victim's family also appeared before the court to record their statement.

A CBI team on Tuesday visited the crime spot in Hathras, officials said. The team called the victim's brother to identify the place and directed the local police to cordon off the crime scene, nearly a month after the woman was allegedly raped and assaulted by four men of the village.

The investigators are likely to return with forensic experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) to carry out a detailed crime scene recreation, they said.

Meanwhile, parents of the Hathras gang-rape victim were not feeling well upon arrival to their house in Bulgadhi village after appearing before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Monday.

The victim's mother, accompanied by two of her family members, was taken to the hospital.

Earlier in the day, Hathras chief medical officer Brijesh Rathore told a national news agency: "We had sent a team that informed us that he has ailments including high blood pressure. However, he is not willing to go to the hospital. I'm going there and will listen to his concerns."

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