Millennium Post

Women's groups call for nationwide protest against Hathras gang-rape

New Delhi: A group of women's organisations have called for a nationwide protest on October 29 against the alleged gang-rape of a Dalit woman in Hathras and demanded the resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

A joint statement signed by the All India Democratic Women's Association, National Federation of Indian Women, All India Progressive Women's Association, Pragatisheet Mahila Sangathan and others said that that the organisations and activists working to preserve the right to life, livelihood, democratic rights and a violence-free life are extremely concerned at the way the inquiry in the Hathras case is being compromised.

The 19-year-old woman, who was assaulted and allegedly raped by four men on September 14, died a fortnight later at a Delhi hospital. She was cremated in the dead of the night on September 30.

While her family claimed the cremation was carried out against their wishes, the police said the last rites were held "as per the wishes of the family".

"The UP government under CM Yogi Adityanath seems to be working overtime to protect the upper caste culprits who belong to the same Thakur caste as the CM. The Thakur community is being allowed to organise their caste panchayats and openly threaten the girl's family who now fear for their safety," the statement said.

"The investigating agency is brazenly denying that a rape was committed. Cases are filed against the people who have supported the family," it said.

"The website of the CBI had earlier displayed the FIR registered by its Noida branch which included Sections 376, 302 etc. This has been removed from this website. Now it states that the CBI will conduct its investigation on the basis of an earlier FIR lodged at the Hathras Police Station which does not include charges of gang-rape and murder."

"This is a clear attempt to dilute the investigation even before it has started. The app from women's organisations is for nationwide joint protests on October 29, the statement said.

It also said that attacks against Dalits and women go on with impunity and alleged that goons and rapists are being given "political patronage" by the Narendra Modi regime at the centre and the Adityanath government in the state.

"We appeal to all citizens to come forward and raise our voice in unison to condemn this brazen attacks on the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women. This violence has increased under the BJP-RSS regime. We condemn the Manuwadi Code that is being implemented in Uttar Pradesh.

Let us all unitedly fight to protect the secular, democratic traditions of our country and the fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution. Let us all unitedly protest all over the country on October 29, 2020 one month after the death of the Hathras victim. CM Yogi must resign, DM Hathras must be removed," it said.

The groups also demanded a court monitored impartial investigation into the case and that the case be investigated under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

Invoke the Prevention of Atrocities Act against the accused including the police and administrative officers responsible for burning the victim's body to destroy evidence, it said.

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