A 6-Year-Old from Hathras Dies After Being Raped. This is the Fate of Girls in a State Where Rapists Are Protected


A 6-Year-Old from Hathras Dies After Being Raped. This is the Fate of Girls in a State Where Rapists Are Protected

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

The gang rape and death in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, a few weeks ago was so gruesome that it’s likely that the country may never forget about it. But even as calls grow for justice for the victim, another girl from the same district lost her life on Monday after she was raped, proving once again the horrific reality of being a woman in Uttar Pradesh.

This time, the victim was a 6-year-old girl from Hathras, who reports say, was held captive and brutally raped by her own cousin. To make matters worse, the girl, who needed treatment after her traumatic incident, passed away in Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital on Monday, just days after the 19-year-old Dalit woman breathed her last.

According to the girl’s father, the six-year-old had gone to live with her maternal aunt along with her sister following their mother’s death in January. At her new home in Aligarh’s Iglas area, the girl was raped by a cousin on September 14. The girl’s father said he found out what had happened three days later, when his daughter developed an infection.

“I approached the Iglas Kotwali but the SHO refused to lodge a complaint,” the girl’s father told The Hindu, highlighting once again the laxity of the UP police in dealing with rape cases. An FIR was only lodged a week later, on September 21, when the girl’s condition deteriorated.

On Tuesday, members of the girl’s family protested by placing her body on a street in Hathras. They only left once the Iglas SHO was suspended for not arresting the accused immediately.

The girl’s father has also alleged that the police arrested the wrong culprit. “Instead of arresting the accused, the SHO held his brother, a minor and mentally challenged boy. He was sent to the juvenile home. We demand the right culprit be put behind bars,” he said.

But the Uttar Pradesh police have other priorities it would seem. This week, rather than take action against the culprits of the Hathras rape, the police arrested one journalist from Kerala and three others, alleging that they had links with the Popular Front of India, reports said.

The arrests came just days after the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath claimed that an “international conspiracy” was hatched by groups and individuals in foreign countries to defame his government and foment caste violence. Several reporters were barred from entering Hathras in the days following the 19-year-old woman’s death. And while the victim’s family is facing threats, the alleged rapists have been garnering support.

As the fight continues for justice for the first Hathras victim, this case is likely to push the country over the edge. Uttar Pradesh, as has been proven many times in the past, is clearly no place for women.