Protesters clash with police in India after late-night cremation of gang rape victim

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By Saurabh Sharma

LUCKNOW, India Sept.30 (Reuters) – Protests erupted in several parts of India on Wednesday following the late-night cremation of a gang rape victim, which was carried out against her family’s wishes .

The 19-year-old victim from the Dalit community – the lowest rung of India’s old caste system – was attacked and raped on September 14 in a field near his home in Hathras district, 100 km from the capital, New Delhi, authorities said. died in hospital on Tuesday from injuries sustained in the attack. Police arrested four men in connection with the rape.

The victim’s brother told Reuters that neither police nor government officials sought permission from the family to perform the victim’s final rites in his hometown in Uttar Pradesh state around 2 a.m. (07:30 GMT) Wednesday.

“We begged the authorities and the police that we wanted to perform the last rites in the morning but they did not listen to us and the last rites were performed by them,” he said.

“We were put behind the barricades they formed using the police. We couldn’t even see the face of our deceased sister.”

The victim and her brother are not identified due to laws prohibiting the naming of victims of sexual violence.

Police and government officials in the woman’s home district did not respond to requests for comment.

The crime has sparked outrage in India, where violence against women and those from lower castes is rampant. The victim’s brother said the men accused were all from a higher caste in the village.

Uttar Pradesh, which is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party, is the most dangerous state for women in the country.

Protesters in Hathras were greeted by police who charged them with batons, a witness said.

Angry protesters, many wearing masks to ward off the novel coronavirus, clashed with police in New Delhi as protesters in Kolkota burned a large image of Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh who is also a radical Hindu priest.

Adityanath ordered a high-level police investigation into the incident.

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