The recent rape case in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh has received massive media attention, outrage, arrests and condemnation not only across the country but also from abroad.
On September 14, 2020, a 19-year-old Dalit woman was gang-raped and brutally murdered allegedly by four upper-caste men. After struggling for her life for two weeks, she died in Safdarjang hospital based in Delhi. Reportedly she was forcefully cremated by the police officials without the consent and participation of her family. No arrests of accused in the case have been made by police so far.
Soon after the news of her death came out, the continuing outrage drastically changed into massive protests all over India.
The family and the case sought the support of many organizations and parties who are demanding justice and in favour of the judicial investigation of the incident.
Former President of Congress Rahul Gandhi and Secretary Priyanka Gandhi tried to reach out and console the victim's family, however, they were accosted and detained by UP police on their way to victim's village, BSP supremo, on the other hand, demanded the resignation of chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, who she sees incapable of protecting Dalits in the State.
On October 01, 2020, section 144 was imposed in the village. Heavy deployments of the police force were employed all over the village, the authorities claimed that it is done in order to ensure security to the victim's family. However, the family claimed that it is deliberately done to avoid media intervention and citizens attention.
Many organizations, human rights activists, institutions, students and citizens staged protest all around the nation against the brutal rape and murder of the young girl, demanding justice for the girl and family. Following which, Uttar Pradesh police have arrested a handful of activists and journalists.
Chandrashekhar Azad the president of Bhim Army (a Dalit rights organization based in Uttar Pradesh) was kept under house arrest for staging a protest against the government and for demanding justice for the victim.
Later on October 07, 2020, Siddique Kappan, a journalist based in Kerala was arrested by police in Mathura while he was heading towards Hathras and have been booked under the provision of the Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act (UAPA) and sedition.
Reports say that Atiq-ur-Rehman and Masood Ahmed were also arrested along with the journalists who are said to be the members of campus front of India (CFI), the student wing of Popular Front of India (PFI). A person named Alam was also arrested along with them, who was driving the vehicle they four were travelling by. (THE WIRE)
After the arrest of journalist, Press Club of India. On October 8, 2020, issued a statement condemning the arrest of journalist and demanding his immediate release. The arrest of Kerala Journalist is evidence that the UP regime is very desperate to use the illegitimate methods to stop media from doing its work. They said, "Inhibiting the media is evidently directed toward stopping facts from being known in the public sphere."
In the spree of arrests recently, Gujarat Congress working President Hardik Patel, Independent Member of Legislative Assembly Jignesh Mewani were detained among many protestors by Gujarat Police in Ahmedabad on October 07, 2020. They were protesting for seeking justice for the Dalit woman. The Indian Express reported that Patel and Mewani were kept under house arrest. Both the leaders gave the information regarding their arrest by tweeting on twitter.
The state government has already recommended a CBI probe in the matter but the family is demanding a judicial investigation. So much of outrage and arrests but the case is still under investigation and justice awaits for the girl and family.