A 20-year-old woman, who died on Tuesday in Delhi two weeks after she was gang-raped and tortured in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras, was cremated by policemen last night, allegedly as her family and relatives were locked up in their homes. A disturbing sequence of events occurred where the family arguing with cops, female relatives throwing themselves on the hood of the ambulance carrying the body and a mother weeping helplessly as cops insist on taking her daughter straight to cremation, without allowing a last look.
The woman died in Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital yesterday morning. She had suffered multiple fractures, paralysis and a gash in her tongue in the horrific assault that drew parallels to the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape. But long after her death, her family had to endure a night of unending horror.
As protesters outside the Delhi hospital chanted, "hang the rapists", the woman's brothers complained that her body had been whisked away by the UP police without their knowledge. Her father and brothers sat on protest but, they were taken away by the cops.
The woman's body was taken to her village in Hathras, about 200 km from Delhi, after midnight. As her family and villagers suspected the UP police wanted to complete the last rites right then, in the middle of the night, they insisted that this was "against their tradition"; the woman's father pleaded with the police to be allowed to take her home and cremate her in the morning.
At the village, female relatives tried to block the vehicle by hugging the bonnet. A woman, believed to be the mother of the 20-year-old, sat on the road sobbing and beating her chest.
The police vehicle was stopped at multiple points before the cops allegedly pushed the protesters away and drove towards the funeral ground.