The body of the 19-year-old Dalit girl, who died in a Delhi hospital a fortnight after she was gang-raped in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras, was cremated at her native place in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the victim's family alleged that the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night. "Police have forcibly taken the body, and my father along with them for cremation. When my father reached Hathras, he was immediately taken (to the crematorium) by the police," a brother of the victim told PTI.
Another kin said the woman's father was accompanied by 30 to 40 people, mainly relatives and others from their neighbourhood, to the crematorium near Bool Garhi village, under Chandpa police station limits, in the district of western Uttar Pradesh.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has meanwhile attacked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the incident. The party through its official Twitter handle tweeted an image of women, possibly the victim's kin, pleading with the police. "Hathras victim's family pleading to the police in front of the ambulance to allow the body to be taken home. Yogi's police cremated the victim by locking up the family in their homes," AAP wrote and added, "#ShameOnYogi."
"Yogi's police didn't cremate the victim, they burned her to save the rapists," AAP said in another tweet.
However, the local police officers told PTI that the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family". Superintendent of Police (SP) Vikrant Veer also denied any “urgency” in the cremation, reported Hindustan Times. Veer also claimed that the situation in the village is calm, but heavy police force has been deployed.
"We have talked to the victim's family members. The last rites of the victim have been performed keeping in view of peace situation here. Four accused have already been arrested. Police and administration will ensure that the perpetrators of the crime are brought to justice," Prem Prakash Meena, Hathras Joint Magistrate told ANI.