On September 14, 2020, the victim’s family had alleged that the girl was dragged into a farm and assaulted by four upper-caste men at a village in Hathras, leaving her with multiple fractures, deep gashes on the body and tongue, and paralysis. It eventually led to her death on September 29 in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital during treatment. In her dying declaration before a magistrate in Aligarh, she had “named the four accused”. Her family had then alleged that she was gang-raped.
What added to the furore was that the body was hurriedly cremated past midnight in an open field near the victim’s home. Her family had alleged that they were “forced” by the police to quietly and quickly conduct her last rites. It was carried out “without their consent”, they said. However, police had said the cremation was carried out “as per the wishes of the family”.
On Thursday, Sandeep was found guilty under sections of the SC/ST Act and IPC 304 (culpable homicide), a lesser charge than section 302 (murder). The court also slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on him. All the four accusedwere produced before the court amid tight security.
After the verdict, girl’s brother said: “Is this justice? The entire world had witnessed what they (accused) had done to my sister…”
The dalit family’s lawyer said, “We’ll appeal in the HC . I have full faith that the others also be convicted.”