An SC/ST court, on Thursday, acquitted three people accused in the Hathras rape-murder case and held another one guilty. Out of the four accused – Sandeep (20), Ravi (35), Luv Kush (23) and Ramu (26) – the court held that Sandeep was guilty of the crime.
Sandeep was held guilty under section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of the SC/ST act.
The three acquitted have been identified as Ravi, Ramu and Luv Kush. Quantum of punishment is due to be announced later today.
The gruesome crime sparked furious protests across the country and made headlines globally. A 20-year-old woman was brutally assaulted at her village – about 200 km from Delhi. She told police she was dragged from a field in which she was working.
The victim died of her injuries – multiple fractures and mutilations that left her paralysed and struggling to breathe, and which drew parallels to the 2012 Delhi gangrape. Her body was cremated in a secretive midnight funeral her family was allegedly barred from. The police and government action triggered outrage but was defended as needed to avoid violence.
The Allahabad High Court had taken cognisance of the case in October 2020, saying the crime – had “shocked” its conscience. Ten days later the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation, which filed its chargesheet against the four accused in December of that year.
The CBI had charged all four men with gang-rape and murder.
Both the UP Police and chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s government were under fierce scrutiny by the Opposition and activists over alleged lapses in the handling of the investigation and treatment of the young woman – while she was alive and after her death.