The Hathras case has been an issue of media frenzy and political mudslinging for over a week now. The victim, a 19-year-old girl had succumbed to injuries in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on 29 September. Two leaked audiotapes had revealed how the victim’s family was being ‘tutored’ by some mainstream media journalists and other elements as to what to say and how to behave.
The UP government had also filed cases and started an investigation into plans to stir large scale caste-violence in the area over the victim’s death. Some arrests have been made, and yesterday, a media expose´ had revealed a Congress leader’s elaborate plans for full-scale riots. The UP government, which has already recommended a court-monitored CBI probe in the Hathras Case, has also started an investigation into the funding and conspiracy to start riots in the area over the incident.
BHIM Army’s workers lived with the family
As per a report by Jagran, after the victim’s death on September 29, three workers from the Bhim Army had lived in the victim house along with the family members, claiming to be their ‘relatives’. The Bhim Army has been involved inspiring up caste angle in the issue and has been provoking caste-based tensions in the area. As per the Jagran report, three Bhim Army persons, including a young woman from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, had lived with the victim’s family, claiming to be their ‘relatives’.
As per the report, Bhim Army chief Chandrasekhar Azad alias ‘Ravan’ had met the Hathras victim in Aligarh on September 27. The victim died on September 29 and when the political climate started getting hotter, while police took the victim’s body to her village at the night, 3 Bhim Army workers had slipped into the family’s house and started living there as ‘relatives’.
The three Bhim Army workers, especially the woman, were actively giving media statements, targeting the state and district administration. The ‘relatives’ first aroused police suspicion when the police decided to provide protection to the victim’s family and started preparing a plan for deploying personnel to protect each family member in the house. When the police started inquiring about the immediate family members and others living in the victim family’s house, the Bhim Army workers reportedly slipped away silently. The woman had fled on Tuesday. A bike with Madhya Pradesh registration number had come to take her away, as per the report.
Jagran has quoted SP Hathras as saying that upon inquiry, the victim’s family had claimed that they only had ‘relatives’ and some persons from their caste living with them. But the woman, when asked by the police as to who exactly she is and where she has come from, evaded answer. The police also have information that two other men were with her and had now gone after she left.
It is notable here that in the victim’s father had spoken to the CM and had expressed his satisfaction over the progress of the investigation, but soon after, another video of the victim’s father went viral, in which he was seen saying that he was pressurised by the state administration. In that video, it was seen that a person was whispering in his ears, tutoring him to say things a certain way and to add that he was ‘pressurised’. Priyanka Gandhi had shared the video, claiming that the victim’s family was being pressurised.
It is being suspected that the Bhim Army persons staying with the family had been involved in stirring up caste-tensions in the case and tutoring the family to suit the agenda of certain political parties. As per the Jagran report, the Bhim Army woman silently left on Tuesday. It is notable here that in the last couple of days, CM Yogi Adityanath had recommended court-monitored CBI probe and the UP police have started a crackdown on elements that were working to stir up caste violence in the area.
The victim’s family has been giving many contradictory statements throughout the case. In their initial statements after the September 14 incident, when the victim was attacked, they, including the victim herself, were seen stating that she was attacked by one Sandeep ( the arrested main accused) and was strangulated. Their police complaint had also stated the same. After several days, they had claimed that the victim was gang raped and had added three other names in their complaint.
The victim’s family had also demanded a CBI inquiry into the case, but after the state government ordered it, the victim’s brother stated that they want an inquiry by judges and not the CBI.