On Thursday, a special court in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras district convicted the main accused and acquitted three others of all charges of the 2020 rape and murder case of a 19-year-old Dalit woman.
Sandeep Singh, the main accused, was convicted under the Indian Penal Code section 304 and sections of the SC/ST acts. The others accused were acquitted in the case. "Their argument will take place shortly," said Munna Singh, the lawyer for Sandeep and those acquitted. The three acquitted have been identified as Ravi, Ramu, and Luv Kush.
On the 14th of September 2020, a 19-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped and assaulted by 4 upper-caste men who left her bleeding in the field in Hathras. She was later found by her family and was taken to the hospital in Aligarh and then to Delhi. Eleven days later, she died in Delhi's Safdarjung hospital. She died of multiple fractures and mutilations.
Her body was later taken back to her village where her body was cremated without the consent of her parents and officials at 3:30 am. The gruesome crime sparked protests across India and made headlines globally.
The UP police and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's government were attacked by the opposition over the alleged lapses in the handling of the investigation and treatment of the young woman.
Following the court's verdict, Sandeep's family broke down outside the courtroom. Rajender Singh, Sandeep’s uncle, said, “I welcome this judgment but why was Sandeep the only one who was convicted? Politicians and media persons marred this whole trial.”
Luv Kush’s mother Munni said, “I welcome the judgment. I had full faith in the judiciary. I just want my son to return. I am concerned about his future now.”
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