'Can't comment': Decision on cremation of Hathras victim taken at local level, says UP Police chief

Uttar Pradesh Police chief HC Awasthy on Saturday said the decision to cremate the Hathras rape and murder victim in the dead of the night was taken at the local level.

HC Awasthy, Director General of Police (DGP), when asked to comment on the allegations that permission was not sought from the family members of the victim before her cremation, said, "I cannot comment on this. The decision was taken at the local (administration) level."

The Dalit woman was allegedly raped at a village in Hathras by four men on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to the Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital where she breathed her last on Tuesday.

She was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police had forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night. Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family".

Massive protests have erupted across the country, seeking demand for the victim and against the government led by Yogi Adityanath for its mishandling of the case. The village was earlier sealed by the administration and even media persons were not allowed to enter and speak the family.

Opposition party leaders have also been denied permission to meet the family.

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