Anubhav Sinha’s ‘Article 15’ vs Hathras Horror – What are the similarities?

Filmmakers often draw inspirations from real life incidents – be it a biopic, true story or a historic event. The idea is to depict a celluloid as a mirrored image of reality.

However, in the Hathras gangrape and murder case, it appears to be based on a film!

To quote actress Sayani Gupta “Bhai #Article15 Ka script follow ki jaa rahi hai kya? Kuch toh sharm karo!!! Kuch Naya jhoot ijaad Karo!”

Anubhav Sinha’s ‘Article 15’, which saw Ayushmann Khurrana in the lead role as an IPS officer, was remembered by scores of movie buffs when the Hathras case made headlines leaving the nation mortified.

Here's how similar the two cases are:

Article 15 - The film

In ‘Article 15’ three teenage Dalit girls go missing from a small village, of which two are found hanging from a tree.

The preliminary autopsy reveals that the girls were gangraped. However, one corrupt police officer prevents the release of this information and pushes the narrative of honour killing by their father.

Throughout the investigation conducted by the protagonist Ayan Ranjan (Khurrana) the caste discrimination emerges as the source the entire problem.

Ayan educates his colleagues about the Article 15 - of the Constitution of India, which prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, religion, caste or birthplace.

He figures that the local police force is conspiring with the Chief Minister to coverup the case, given that the latter’s son is also involved.

It then turns out that the police officers helping Ayan in the investigation had also raped and tortured the girls.

Ayan is interrupted by the CBI officer who takes over the case, but the former submits the evidence to the Home Minister and successfully finds the third missing girl.

According to reports, the film has been shot in parts of Uttar Pradesh.

It is to be noted that while the film is not based on one specific event, it is inspired by multiple true life events, including the 2014 Badaun gang rape allegations and 2016 Una flogging incident.

The Hathras Case

A 19-year-old Dalit rape victim, who was gangraped in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh and left paralysed by four men, died a fortnight after the attack in a Delhi hospital on September 29.

On September 14, the victim was dragged by the dupatta around her neck to a field when she had gone to collect cattle fodder, which injured her spinal cord. When she was held down, she apparently bit her own tongue which caused a deep cut.

A spokesman of the Aligarh hospital had said that the woman's legs were completely paralysed and arms partially paralysed.

All four accused she named -- Sandip, Ramu, Lavkush and Ravi – belonged to the upper caste were arrested for gangrape, attempt to murder and under sections of the SC/ST Act.

Her father had told reporters that the families of the four accused have been threatening them for speaking out.

The girl had also told her family that the four men had threatened her with dire consequences if she informed anyone about the incident.

The woman was cremated by the UP police in her village at 3 AM amid tight security.

The police claimed that the post-mortem report did not confirm any sexual assault.

The ADG of UP police, Prashant Kumar said the woman was not raped. “The samples did not have sperm and thus makes it clear that no rape or gang rape took place with the girl,” he said.

A heavy deployment of police was made around the village and even the movement of locals was restricted.

Policemen were seen standing even in the fields to prevent media persons from reaching the house of the victim and meeting her family.

A local official said that restrictions were in place due to Section 144 being imposed in the district.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath suspended Superintendent of Police, Hathras, Vikrant Veer and four other local policemen for alleged dereliction of duty.

Recent reports also reveal that the family has been disconnected from any outsiders, their phones taken away, and put under a house arrest.

Meanwhile, the incident led to nationwide outrage with political parties, activists and scores of citizens staging protests and demonstrations, demanding justice for the victim.

How we wish there was a real-life Ayan Ranjan to save the day

Unlike the ‘Article 15’ film, there is no sign of an Ayan Ranjan, who could perhaps change the course and serve immediate justice to the victim and her family.

Disclaimer: The article does not intend to draw a direct comparison between the film and the real-life incident. It only aims to point out certain similarities between the two.

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