People gather at the Jantar Mantar to demand justice for the Hathras 'gang-rape' and murder victim, on 2 October | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
People gather at the Jantar Mantar to demand justice for the Hathras gangrape victim, on 2 October | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh Police reportedly discovered a suspected “Naxalite link” to the alleged Hathras gangrape case, after a woman was found to be living at the victim’s home and reportedly passing herself off as a family member.

The new allegations came even as the CBI took over the Hathras probe from Uttar Pradesh Police.

Several media reports, quoting police sources, said the woman had Naxalite links, with BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya also tweeting Saturday claimed that she had, at different times, described herself as the victim’s sister and bhabhi (sister-in-law). 

According to a report in Zee News, Madhya Pradesh minister Bhupendra Singh has also alleged that the woman — believed to be a native of the state — has a “Naxalite connection”.

The woman has been identified as Rajkumari Bansal of Madhya Pradesh, who told ThePrint in light of the allegations that she was a Madhya Pradesh government employee who visited the family on 4 October to express solidarity, and stayed on at their insistence. The victim’s brother claimed she was “like a sister’’.

The new allegations created a new angle to the investigation of the Uttar Pradesh Police, which is already probing whether the furore that followed the alleged gangrape of a 20-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras was the result of an “international conspiracy” to incite caste riots. The four suspects in the gangrape case are neighbours of the victim in the village Boolgarhi. 

 ThePrint reached Hathras Superintendent of Police (SP) Vineet Jaiswal repeatedly via calls and messages, but he didn’t respond.

The UP Police has not released any official statement in the matter. UP Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Manoj Sharma, who attended calls on the SP’s official contact number, declined to comment on the matter.


Also read: How media has hit the self-destruct button in Arnab’s Republic-vs-other TV channels war


Woman, family deny allegations 

The woman in question, Rajkumari Bansal, told ThePrint that she is a physician working at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Medical College in the pharmacology (study of drugs’ impact on body) department.

She said she reached Boolgarhi a couple of days after the alleged Hathras victim was cremated in a controversial hurried ceremony in the small hours of 30 September.

“I had reached the woman’s house at noon on 4 October, and returned on 6 October. My purpose of visit was only to provide support and financial aid to the family who was being harassed,” she added.

“Media and politicians weren’t allowed, so I went thinking that at least common people can go and stand in solidarity with the family.I don’t belong to their community and had gone to raise my voice about atrocities against women. I am not a proper activist and keep doing social work in bits and parts alongside my job,” she said.

Bansal claimed she ended up staying with the family for three days after they told her that her presence is providing them with “mental strength”. She denied having any association with the Bhim Army — a Dalit rights outfit that has held protests against the gangrape since the victim lost her life at a Delhi hospital — or any political party, which is a reported probe angle

“I have a government job, I know I can’t have these associations,” she added. 

“I am well aware of my constitutional right and went there in my personal capacity and freedom,” she said. 

The woman denied having known the family before the alleged gangrape and murder took place, and said she spoke to them for the first time on 3 October. Her statement was meant to counter some media reports that quoted police sources to say a “Naxalite woman from Jabalpur” — who also stayed with the family between 16 and 22 September, “in a veil” — had “regularly” been in touch with the victim’s actual bhabhi.

The victim’s brother told ThePrint that the woman is “like a sister” and denied any conspiracy angle.

“She is a sister, we know her and she just visited like everyone else. She was here from 4-6 October and all the accusations are false, she never wore a veil,” the brother said. These “rumours”, he added, were “leaked to the media by the police to establish a conspiracy angle”. 

Bansal said she doesn’t know on what basis she has been accused of being a “Naxalite”.  She added that she is married and has a 10-year-old son.


Also read: Some want to call Hathras an ‘honour killing case’ — they forgot it’s an upper-caste practice


 

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1 COMMENT

  1. All very well, BUT, bottom line: Why did the Police have to rush through the destruction of material evidence (the cremation of the corpse) without a proper post mortem?

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