Hathras District Magistrate raises doubts on gang rape report, media barred from...

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Amid the countrywide outrage following the death of a young woman who was allegedly gang raped and brutalised by four men in UP’s Hathras leading to her death, the district magistrate on Thursday appeared to raise doubts about the rape.

The victim, in her statement to the police, had named the four accused who were later arrested under Sections 376 D (gang rape) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

Talking about the medical examination report, Hathras district magistrate Praveen Kumar said there was no injury on the private parts of victim and samples had been sent to forensic science lab in Agra to establish conclusively whether or not it was an incident of gang rape.

“The report from the forensic science lab in Agra may come in three days and it will make the picture clear,” Kumar said even as the Special Investigation Team (SIT) reached Boolgarhi village in and began investigation into the gang rape case.

Senior IPS officer Bhagwan Swaroop, who is posted as secretary of home department, heads the SIT, which has been asked to submit its report within a week.

Two other members of SIT are deputy inspector general of police Chandra Prakash and Poonam (who goes by one name), the commandant of 15th Battalion of Provincial Armed Constabulary, Agra.

“SIT headed by Bhagwan Swaroop and two other members reached Hathras. They were in the village on Thursday to interact with family members of the girl. The SIT is recording statements and has gone to the crime scene also,” the Hathras district magistrate said.

“Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code has been imposed in Hathras district and no unlawful assembly of people will be allowed,” the district magistrate said. Section 144 prohibits assembly of four or more people.

The entry of journalists in the village was prohibited reportedly after some police personnel were found with Covid-19 symptoms.

“We have asked these cops to get themselves tested and if they test positive, the village might be declared a containment zone. Thus, entry of outsiders, including media, has been stopped on apprehension of Covid-19,” the Hathras DM said.

There were also reports that Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi set off on foot to meet the family of Hathras gang rape victim after the police stopped them on the Yamuna Expressway

citing prohibitory orders.

However, Kumar denied any information about the arrival of the two Congress leaders.

The 19-year-old Dalit woman, died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday a fortnight after she was gang-raped at Hathras while she was out to collect fodder with her mother. She was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.

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