Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday announced that he is recommending a CBI probe into the Hathras case, amid a growing political storm over the death of the 19-year-old Dalit victim who was assaulted and allegedly gang-raped.
He also said that his government was “determined to ensure the harshest punishment” for those guilty in the entire incident.
The development came within hours of Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi and Director General of Police H C Awasthy meeting the victim’s family at her home in Hathras on the direction of the chief minister.
“For an intensive investigation into the unfortunate incident of Hathras and all points linked to it, the UP government is recommending a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). We are determined to ensure the harshest punishment for all those responsible for this incident,” Adityanath tweeted in Hindi.
A Special Investigation Team, formed on the direction of the chief minister, has been probing the case. The chief minister’s office also tweeted that Adityanath has recommended a CBI probe into the episode.
Reacting to the announcement, the family members of the victim said that they want a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met the victim’s family at their village in Hathras on Saturday night after the state authorities lifted restrictions on entry.
The opposition parties have targeted the Adityanath government over the incident and the handling of the case. The victim, who was assaulted and allegedly gang-raped on September 14, died of her grievous injuries in the early hours of Tuesday in a Delhi hospital and was cremated in the dead of night near her home on Wednesday, with her family alleging that they were hurried into carrying out her last rites by local police.
On Thursday, the Hathras administration clamped prohibitory orders barring the assembly of more than four people in the district, where scuffles broke out as politicians, including from the Congress and the TMC, and media persons tried to access the village. About 300 police personnel stood on guard to prevent anybody from entering.
Today, however, the administration lifted restrictions on the entry of media persons.