By Arré Bench Oct. 01, 2020
As India struggles to wrap its head around the events that have transpired in Hathras, another gruesome rape was reported in UP’s Balrampur district. A 22-year-old Dalit woman lost her life after she was brutally assaulted and raped. In a story eerily similar to Hathras, the woman’s body was cremated immediately after the post mortem, in the middle of the night.
As the country struggles to wrap its head around the events that have transpired in Hathras, UP, over the last two weeks, another gruesome rape was reported in Balrampur district, 500 kilometres away. A 22-year-old Dalit woman lost her life after she was brutally assaulted and raped on Tuesday evening, even as the rest of the country was taking to the streets to protest the Hathras incident.
After Hathras incident, I hoped UP govt will take action against people committing crimes against women. But a similar crime has been committed against a Dalit student in Balrampur. Under BJP’s UP govt, criminals, mafias & rapists are having a free run: BSP chief Mayawati pic.twitter.com/Y8laGLdm6z
— ANI (@ANI) October 1, 2020
Hathras repeated in Balrampur.. don’t even know how to react. Shame on us!!
— Neelam Pandey (@NPDay) September 30, 2020
The young woman, a second year BCom student went missing on Tuesday morning, when she had gone to pay her college fees. The family said she was abducted on her way back home, and brutally raped by at least two men.
The woman reportedly returned home that day in a rickshaw, unconscious. Both her legs and her arms were broken, and an IV line was stuck in her arm. Her family rushed her to the hospital, but she lost her life on the way. All she managed to say in that time, according to her family, was, “I am in a lot of pain, I won’t survive.”
👉After Hathras, another gangrape & murder in UP. This one is even more horrifying
👉Another Dalit girl gangraped & murdered. This time in UP’s Balrampur
👉After rape, her legs & waist were crushed. She was then given a poison filled injection
👉Police say 2 have been arrested
— Saahil Murli Menghani (@saahilmenghani) September 30, 2020
In a story eerily similar to the Hathras incident, the woman’s body was cremated immediately after the post mortem, in the middle of the night. In the Hathras case, the family of the victim claimed that her body was cremated under pressure from the police.
Outrage around #Hathras and the constant questioning of the authorities by journalists, on why the victim’s body was burned at 2:30am without the family’s permission or letting them see her face — and yesterday the #Balrampur victim was burned WITHIN HALF AN HOUR!
— Arya (@RantingDosa) October 1, 2020
— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) September 30, 2020
Two men have been arrested in connection with the Balrampur crime, but the police have said that there was no evidence that her legs or her back were broken. The alleged rapists, according to the police, had attempted to treat her with the help of a local doctor before sending her back home, explaining why she had an IV line in her arm.
The similarities between both crimes, and the fact that the Balrampur incident took place as the outrage over the Hathras case had reached its climax, however, has led some to believe that it could have been a copycat crime.
Advocate Karuna Nandy was among those who made the connection, calling for media houses to be more careful about how rape cases are reported to avoid such incidents in the future. She shared the Press Council of India guidelines on reporting on suicide for reference, which emphasises that reports must not “explicitly describe the method used”.
We need to be really careful about how gangrapes are reported. I fear the nature of reporting coupled with total State impunity, is leading to copycat crimes. Balrampur is too close in time and location to Hathras to ignore the connection.
— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) September 30, 2020
While Bollywood gave Indian men a sustained lesson on how to harass women & not respect consent, sensational reporting of rape in the country now has a risk of providing a structured framework on how to dehumanise a woman. https://t.co/VdQtXda8rL
— Ashwaq Masoodi (@ashwaqM) October 1, 2020
— Tara* Kaushal (@TaraKaushal) September 30, 2020
Pressure has, meanwhile, been mounting on the UP government and police following these two gruesome rape cases, which are among thousands that go unreported in the country every day. At this point, it’s safe to say that India is no country for women.