• Manmohit Bhalla


Media which is considered to be the fourth pillar of democracy and the one which is to be unbiased is nowadays interested in just one thing and that is TRP, rather than clubbing the different media houses in groups we can from the present scenario infer that it all takes a flash to shift the attention of media houses. Now getting straight to the present case the unfortunate incident happened in a city named Hathras which located in the Hathras district which is located at the intersection point between Aligarh, Agra, Mathura, and Bareily highway and is most commonly known for its extreme temperature variations, the village has a population of 15,64000 (approx) as per the census conducted in the year 2011, Hathras has a sex ratio of 814 women per 100 male, and a literacy rate of 60.2% and with Hindu population as the majority. This city was not known to many of the people before 22 September 2020 but after that day the city got its place in the headlines of almost all national news channels, this article will not deal with any specific sides rather it will just deal with the facts and possibilities in the respective case.

On 14th September 2020, a girl and her mother went to the fields to cut and collect grass and were both doing their work the mother was at a distance from the daughter when she realized she was missing when she looked for her she found her lying on the field at some distance she was rushed to the hospital where she was found be chocking and the very possibility was that somebody might have chocked her by grabbing her neck and then hit her and broke her backbone, it was on 14th when the first FIR was logged on the local police station and in which a boy named SANDIP was mentioned and the FIR had the incident facts which stated the use of force against the girl and beating her by the boyfriend, the case even got a place in some local newspapers and the headlines also had the same content as girl admitted in serious condition the hospital after the boy beat her senseless. The case didn’t get any national media attention, the girl’s condition deteriorated and she was rushed to Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi, where she scummed to her injuries and died almost nine days after the crime, it was now that the media was brought to its toes when a video went viral in which it was claimed that the girl was giving a statement that she was not just beaten but was also gang-raped by Sandip accompanied by 3 other boys, and news of the family surfaced that police is not filling the FIR as the girl was from the Dalit community and the boy from the upper class, although it was on 22nd that the police lodged an FIR stating that it was rape and the accused were Sandip and 3 other boys, all of them were arrested within 48 hours of logging the FIR, it wasn’t the end. the issue got more concern when the body of the victim girl was burnt(cremated) at night at some time around 2:30 AM which was both against Hindu as rituals as well a violation of article 21 of the Indian constitution, the people joined hands in support of the girl and jointly protested. The media was denied entry into the village and the family members of the girls were forced not to talk to anyone, section 144 was imposed in the city and this was the shield police used to ask the media people to stay away but the real agenda behind the imposition of section 144 was soon clear when the Swarn Mahasabha held a large meeting in the same village, this was all which led to protest in various parts of the country, the main questions which should come to one’s mind is why was not the case investigated properly when the first FIR was logged? Why didn’t the police think of the rape angle and held a medical investigation? Why did the police use force against the family and denied them basic rights of movement? Why was the dead body of the victim burnt without the consent of the family members as the constitution lays down the principle of cremation or burial with dignity? It was an issue that was covered by the whole nation. Why didn’t the government head took up the responsibility of coming forward and holding a press conference to clear all the questions of the people and to bring more clarity in the issue.

Now this was one side of the story lets also talk about some other findings, it was discovered by the police as well as many media houses that the families of both the victim and the accused had a long backdated issue, secondly it was noted that it was reported that her tongue was cut and even her spine was broken, but from the mere fact that her videos in which she is giving statements orally is present it is a question as to how much is this news true, secondly the fact that the girl wasn’t examined in the prescribed time for rape the medical report said no proof of presence of accused sperm in victim’s body, further the CM of the state Yogi Adityanath ordered for suspension of the inspector in charge, and other administrative officers when the body of the victim was unlawfully cremated, soon after the media got its focus to both sides of the cases it could easily be seen in the case in which one side of the people denied of the fact that rape had happened, and henceforth they claimed that the boys were unnecessarily harassed by the police and illegally detained, the Allahabad high court while hearing the issue raised questions on the kind of irresponsible investigation conducted by the police, meanwhile it was noted that the UP government ordered for a CBI investigation in the matter and which was shockingly opposed by the family members of the victim, reasons of which are still unknown, but this gives a slight space of doubt as to why is the family not allowing or is not ready for CBI probe, as it is a matter of getting justice for their daughter?

Towards the end concluding this article after going through all the facts and points, it is quite evident that it is not a clear case of rape or a case which is crystal clear as to what happened and how so till the case is solved the case is going to be a matter of discussion between people across the country, but there are two possibilities, what if it is concluded by the investigation that no rape happened? Then isn't it justice which is being done to the 4 boys under police custody? And the attempts made to disturb communal harmony in the city of Hathras, as per the current findings by the ED of an influx of huge sums of money which is to be used to disturb communal harmony in the state. But still, some things are evident that the investigation conducted by the police was sheer negligence and was indeed done under some external pressure, and the only demand we, as people have, is that justice to be served and justice be given to the daughter of the nation who was brutally murdered, and hence restore people’s faith in law and justice.

© The People Bookmark | 2020

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