Hathras family say threatened by official

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“Don’t kill your credibility,” the district magistrate says in the video

The family of the woman, who died days after being gang-raped and tortured in the Hathras of Uttar Pradesh, alleged “threats and pressure” from a senior district official who visited them on Thursday. A video of the Hathras District Magistrate (DM) speaking to the family has been widely shared since it was posted online.

“Don’t end your credibility. These media people… some are gone today and tomorrow others will be leaving. Only we will be here with you. OK? Whether you want to change your return or not is up to you. We can also change, ”District Magistrate Praveen Kumar Laxkar said in the video shot on a cell phone.

In another circulating video, a veiled woman, believed to be the victim’s sister-in-law, looks at the camera and cries. “They put pressure on us. They say if our daughter had died of coronavirus she would have received compensation. They say the deal will be rafaa-dafaa (eliminated). We are getting warnings. Our father is getting warnings, ”she said, holding a baby in her arms.

“They threaten us with videos of the mother (of the victim). At that moment, she was talking about whatever was on her mind… They won’t let us live here. The DM is very cunning, he tries to cheat us. They put pressure on us. They force us and say our statements are unreliable, we keep changing our statements and we have no credibility. ”

The official denied the family’s allegation. “I met six of my family yesterday and we talked for about an hour and a half. I met them again today to see their displeasure. I deny any negative rumors about my interactions with them. Their main concern is that the accused I tried to reassure them and told them that the case would be tried by an expedited court, ”Mr. Laxkar said.

The 20-year-old woman died on Tuesday after fighting for her life for two weeks. She suffered serious injuries after being assaulted by four upper caste men from her village of Hathras on September 14.

She had several fractures, a spinal injury and a deep cut to her tongue.

On Tuesday evening, Uttar Pradesh police removed his body and cremated him at 2:30 a.m., against his family’s wishes and in their absence. The woman’s parents, who had asked to be allowed to bring her body home for the last time and perform her funeral the next morning, accused UP police of forcing the cremation in a desperate attempt of concealment.

The young woman, a Dalit, named her attackers in a statement on September 22. Four men, suspected of being upper caste Thakurs, were arrested.

But the woman’s family accuses the police of misconduct everywhere; they allege that the police initially refused to act and called the woman’s injuries a “tragedy”. In recent days, they have accused police and district officials of warning them more than once.

A senior UP police official said on Thursday that the forensic laboratory said in its report that the woman had not been raped.

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