With various conflicting notions emerging in connection with the rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Hathras, a petition has been moved in the Allahabad High court by the victim’s family alleging that the district administration has illegally confined them in their house.
The matter was listed before the bench comprising of Justices Pritinker Diwaker and Pradeep Kumar Srivastava who had thereof reserved the verdict.
The Habeas Corpus petition has been moved by the Akhil Bharatiya Valmiki Mahapanchayat on behalf of the detained family including the deceased victim, i.e. her father, mother, two brothers, sister-in-law, and grandmother. Therefore, the plea urged the court to direct the district administration to release them from illegal confinement and “be allowed to move out of their house and meet people” while asserting that the Government has violated their fundamental right to free movement.
“Ever since the information and horror of this distressing event have spread across India, the administration has been making all attempts to threaten, pressurize, and intimidate the Petitioners into making false statements which may enable the widespread discontent to die down, and the perpetrators of the crime to go scot-free. As part of this scheme, the administration had installed blockades in and around Hathras District, and persons who seek to travel to the area are being prohibited to do so without any lawful reason, and being prevented from doing so by use of illegal force and measures,” read the plea.
Earlier on Tuesday, the security was increased with the deployment of eight police personnel including lady cops, and CCTV cameras were installed at the victim’s house in Hathras, on the directives of the Supreme Court where UP government had filed an affidavit promising protection to the victim’s family on.
Background of the case
On 14th September, a 19-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly tortured and gang-raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras district of UP. It is alleged that the perpetrators had cut the tongue of the victim to ensure that she does not give any statement to the police and repeatedly threatened her family for several days. Reportedly, the victim’s mother recovered her from the fields in a critical condition after which she was admitted to a hospital in Aligarh for treatment. However, on 28th September, considering her health being deteriorating further, she was shifted to AIIMS Delhi, where she succumbed to her injuries the following day.
As per sources, the victim’s family was not even allowed to cremate her body but was instead, locked up in their home during the cremation in the wee hours of 29th September.
Following a nationwide outrage, the Allahabad High Court took suo moto cognizance of the matter and has decided to examine whether the economic and social status of the deceased’s family was taken advantage of by the State Authorities to oppress and deprive them of their Constitutional rights?
The Allahabad HC stated that “The rights of individual citizens in the Country and the State especially that of the poor and the downtrodden such as the family members of the deceased victim and the deceased herself are paramount and the Courts of Law are under a bounden duty to see that the said rights available under the Constitution are protected at all costs and the State does not in its misplaced endeavor for political or administrative reasons transgress the limits of its powers to encroach and violate such rights, especially in the case of poor and the weak.”