The Delhi Police detained and were seen manhandling protesters outside the Uttar Pradesh Bhavan in New Delhi on Wednesday. Several women, youth and student organisations held a protest against the gang-rape and murder of the 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.
The organisations part of the protest were the AIDWA, NFIW, AIMSS, SFI, AISF, AIDSO, DYFI, AIYF, AIDYO and Anhad. “The police under the Union Home Ministry severely manhandled the protesters and arrested them,” the AIDWA said on Facebook.
Speaking to the press, an All India Democratic Women's Association spokesperson said that there is a “jungle raj” in Uttar Pradesh and the Centre and the UP government were responsible for it. “Darte hain woh sacchai se kyunki woh jante hain iss desh mein goondaraj nahi chalega (The government is scared of our protests since it knows that the country will not tolerate the reign of goons),” she said.
Women's rights activists also slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for cremating the body of the 19-year-old victim in the dead of night, allegedly without her family's consent, and said she was robbed of dignity even in death.
The Dalit woman was allegedly raped at a village in Hathras by four men on September 14, and she breathed her last on Tuesday at Delhi's Safdarjung hospital.
Her body was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.
“This horror gives you the full picture of what this crime is all about,” Kavita Krishnan, the secretary of All India Progressive Women's Association, told PTI.
“The refusal of the UP government and its machinery to allow a Dalit family the right to grieve their daughter and bid her farewell in keeping with their own emotions and customs reeks of caste supremacy," she said.
She said there is a lot of focus on the horrific nature of the injuries that the woman suffered, but insufficient focus on the alleged systemic horror the Uttar Pradesh state “inflicted” on her and her family.
Women rights activist Shamina Shafiq mentioned the 2012 gang-rape and murder of Nirbhaya in Delhi.
“Her family was given respect, though law and order failed. Now look at (this case) in comparison. Even Hindu rituals do not allow cremation after sunset. Why did it happen?" she asked.
Women rights activist Shabnam Hashmi said growing instances of attacks on women are shocking.
“From 2014-2018, there have been 1.75 lakh rapes in this country, and data for the last two years is not even added to this statistics. The way attacks on women are increasing is unprecedented and there is total impunity,” she said.
With inputs from PTI