UPDATED- 10/02/2020 11:14 AM IST
After a teenager’s death in an alleged attack by four men sparked protests across India, state police announced Thursday that she had not been raped. The suspects within the case remain in custody and still face murder charges.
The 19-year-old woman died on Tuesday, fortnight after she was allegedly attacked by upper caste men within the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh . She belonged to the Dalit community — rock bottom strata in India’s caste based hierarchy.
Local police initially said the victim was raped and strangled during a field near her range in Hathras. But on Thursday, the police said they were ruling out the rape allegations.
“Putting to rest all the speculation, the Forensic lab (FSL) report on the vaginal sample of the 19-year old girl of Hathras has revealed that she wasn’t raped,” Prashant Kumar, a senior official from the Uttar Pradesh Police said during a statement. The post-mortem report indicated the lady died thanks to trauma following injury to the neck.
The state police arrested four men last month in connection to the crime. They were initially charged with gang-rape and plan to murder.
The victim’s body has already been cremated, and her family has not yet skilled the police statement ruling out the alleged rape.
, the mother of the victim, who can’t be identified for legal reasons, said her daughter’s body was removed from her against her wishes.
“I begged them to point out me her face one last time. They didn’t,” she said.
Swati Maliwal, the chief of the Delhi Commission of girls alleged on Tuesday that the victim’s body was cremated without the family’s consent, which the local authorities deny.
“She was cremated with their consent. Her relations were present there. to form this allegation is completely wrong,” said District Magistrate PK Laxkar.
India’s main opposition party has claimed a canopy up within the case and called on the Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister to resign.
Facing heavy criticism, the government has promised to means the case. the govt said a special investigation would be conducted which the investigative team would have seven days to submit their report.
Once the investigation concludes, the four men’s hearings will happen during a fast-track court, consistent with government spokesperson Mrityunjay Kumar.
The woman’s death sparked protests across Uttar Pradesh , which then spread to major cities including New Delhi , Mumbai and Kolkata. many angry protesters chanted and waved banners as they marched through the streets of Hathras. Some demonstrators gathered outside the Delhi hospital where she died; another protest happened near the Indian President’s residence, where several dozen people were detained for violating pandemic restrictions.
The public outcry intensified after it emerged that a second woman, a 22-year-old who was also a member of the Dalit community, died of severe injuries within the same state on an equivalent day after being allegedly being gang raped.
India’s class structure was officially abolished in 1950, but the 2,000-year-old social hierarchy imposed on people by birth still exists in many aspects of life. The class structure categorizes Hindus at birth, defining their place in society, what jobs they will do and who they will marry.
According to human rights organizations including the United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Dalit women are particularly susceptible to caste-based violence and discrimination.