The victim was found by her family in a field, stripped naked, bleeding, with multiple fractures and a gash in her tongue. She died days after, being brutally gang-raped and tortured by four men, she was strangled and beaten causing cervical spine injury., The post-mortem report doesn’t mention rape but states that her attackers attempted to strangle her but it did not contribute to her death.
The Hathra’s rape incident that occurred on September 14 has once again brought to the fore the ongoing debate on gender-based-violence and the security of woman in India.
“We were working in the fields when they dragged her away. I was cutting grass and she had moved away to collect it. When I turned to look, I couldn’t find her. I shouted and hunted for her and spotted one of her slippers. There were drag marks near it. I followed them to find my daughter lying naked with blood coming out of her mouth; she wasn’t being able to talk, her tongue had been slashed,” the woman told NDTV.
How India’s caste-system strips Dalits of basic human rights
Another topic that is making headlines again, is the caste-driven mindset that has allowed the Indian police to violate the rights of the Hathras family, who mourn the death of their 19-year-old daughter. The inhumane treatment of the Dalit caste in India is equivalent to what South African citizens experienced under apartheid, the only difference is – this is brown on brown racism.
As the media attention focuses on the Hathras rape incident, the Dalit’s remain silent as they are tossed up as sensational news, they also fear punishment from the Hathras upper-caste families, once the media circus is over. The 19-year-old was brutally battered during the rape by four upper-caste men is just the cusp of the reality that Dalits face on a daily basis. The mother of the victim speaking to NDTV said they were sent away from the local police station when they went to file a complaint.
“We went to Hathras and then to Aligarh; my daughter couldn’t talk so they didn’t file a case of gang-rape,” she said.
The family had begged the authorities to allow them to grieve by taking her body home to perform last rites the next morning, but they were not even allowed to capture a glimpse of their child before her lonely cremation. The victim’s cremation was held on a separate designated space for Dalits, they are also not allowed into the local temples, while Dalit children are excluded from school. The aunt of the victim speaking to Indian Express said they were shocked at the way she was cremated. “I have daughters too… The police would never have done this if the woman was a Thakur.”
The teenager succumbed to her violent “injury to the cervical spine by indirect blunt trauma,” says the medical report from the Delhi hospital where the 20-year-old died on Tuesday, reports NDTV.
The final diagnosis is: “Alleged post-strangulation with cervical spine injury with sepsis with cardiopulmonary arrest”. Injuries sustained to her neck had left her paralysed and struggling to breathe, said the family of the Hathras rape victim.
At the woman’s home though, hope is dying, much like the embers on her pyre. Her sister-in-law, whom she was closest to, wails, “We are Dalits, and that is our sin.”
The victim’s shocking injuries due to the sexual assault has now drawn renewed attention to the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape, read more here.
In other news, the controversial Bollywood song ‘Beyonce Sharma Jayegi’ from the Indian movie Khaali Peeli, that sparked global outrage for its racist lyrics, has somehow found its way onto the national broadcaster’s airwaves of Lotus FM, tap here for more