Protesters clash with police in India after late night cremation of gang rape victim

Protesters clash with police in India after late night cremation of gang rape victim


NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW: Protests erupted in several parts of India on Wednesday after the authorities had the body of a gang rape victim cremated at a ceremony her family said took place without their permission.

The 19-year-old victim from the Dalit community – the lowest rung of India s ancient caste system – was attacked and raped on Sept. 14 in a field near her home in Hathras district, 100 km (62-miles) from the capital, New Delhi, authorities said.

She died in the attack on Tuesday and died in the hospital. The police arrested four men in connection with rape.

The victim’s brother said that at around 2am (0730 GMT) on Wednesday, neither police nor government officials sought permission from their family members to hold a funeral for the victim at a funeral in his village in northern Uttar Pradesh.

“We begged the authorities and police that we wanted to perform the funerary rite in the morning, but they did not listen to us and the rite was performed by them,” he said.

“We were put behind the barricades they formed using the police force. We could not even see the face of our dead sister.”

Magistrate Praveen Kumar Laxar denied that the cremation was carried out without the permission of the family: “She was cremated only with their consent. Her family was there. It is absolutely wrong to make this accusation.”

Due to laws prohibiting the naming of victims of sexual violence, the victims and their brothers have not been identified.

Police and government officials in the woman’s hometown did not respond to requests for comment.

Rape has caused atrocities in India, where violence against women and lower castes is common. The victim’s brother said that the defendants were all members of the upper class in the village.

Uttar Pradesh, ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party, is listed as the most insecure state for women in the country.

A witness said that protesters in the city of Hasras in Uttar Pradesh were arrested by police and charged with truncheons.

Angry protesters fought with the police in New Delhi, and many wore masks to defend against the new coronavirus.

“I m here to show the UP government, and people that are ignorant towards caste-based privilege and caste-based violence, that enough is enough,” said 26-year-old Shambhavi, as she and dozens of protesters chanted anti-government slogans in the centre of the capital.

In Kolkata, protesters burned a big picture of Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh who is also a hardline Hindu priest.

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