New Delhi: The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court came down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh police for cremating the 19-year-old Dalit woman in the middle of the night without the consent of her family. Also Read - Ballia Firing: UP Police Takes Custody of BJP Leader Dhirendra Singh
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, the family’s counsel Seema Kushwaha said that the bench of Justices Pankaj Mithal and Rajan Roy reprimanded ADG (Law and Order), Prashant Kumar, asking if he would have allowed his daughter to be cremated the same way? Also Read - UP Court Orders Woman to Pay Rs 1,000 Per Month to Husband as Maintenance Allowance
The court also raised questions on the police action and asked the DM, “What if it was a girl from a rich family?” Notably, District Magistrate Praveen Kumar Laxkar, who had faced massive flak over the incident, accepted responsibility for the post-midnight cremation. Also Read - Muslim Cop in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat Suspended For Keeping a Beard Without Permission
Laxar pleaded that cremation had been done in the dead of the night because they had received intelligence inputs that some vested interests could try to provoke caste violence.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman died at a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men at her village in UP’s Hathras district on September 14. There was outrage over her hurried cremation at her village with her family claiming that it was against their wishes and they were not even allowed to bring the woman’s body home one last time.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court that held a detailed hearing of the ‘forced cremation’ of the Hathras victim on Monday, said it would give the detailed order later.
The court has fixed November 2 as the next date of hearing.