The Congress on March 3, 2023 attacked the BJP over the acquittal of three persons accused in the Hathras rape-murder case and alleged that it has exposed the "weak and shoddy" investigation done by the Uttar Pradesh police and later by the CBI.
A special court in Hathras on March 2, 2023 last sentenced the main accused in the 2020 Hathras rape-murder case to life imprisonment, while acquitting the three other accused.
Addressing a press conference at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in New Delhi, Congress leader Dolly Sharma said the heinous crime in Hathras and then, The government’s role in this matter has exposed the BJP’s “Beti Bachao” slogan.
"The crime of depriving the minor girl of the Dalit community of justice has been committed by the BJP, which keeps on giving the slogan of supporting everyone," Ms. Sharma said.
The Court finding one accused guilty and acquitting the other three has again “exposed the weak and shoddy investigation” done by the Uttar Pradesh police and later by the CBI in this case, Ms. Sharma said.
“In this matter, voice was continuously raised by the Congress party and our leader Rahul Gandhi and the general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, constantly demanded justice for the victim’s family,” Ms. Sharma said.
The most unfortunate thing is that the minor daughter of a Dalit family was brutally gang-raped and murdered and only because of the “shoddy” investigation by the police, the prosecution could not even prove the charge of rape in the court, Ms. Sharma said.
The rape and murder charges could not be proved against the prime accused. The court held Sandeep (20) guilty under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code, a lesser charge than section 302 (murder).
Ravi (35), Luv Kush (23) and Ramu (26) were acquitted in the case that triggered outrage and put Yogi Adityanath’s BJP Government in the dock over law and order in the State.
The court also slapped a fine of ₹50,000 against Sandeep.
Ms. Sharma alleged that as soon as the matter came to light, The government machinery was busy giving it the form of a “conspiracy” to save the accused and suppress the matter.
“The acquittal of three out of four accused once again proves our allegation that the police and the administration acted with serious negligence in the initial investigation, witnesses and evidence was tampered with, pressure was created in every way and a weak prosecution was presented before the Court which benefited the accused and denied justice to the victim,” Ms. Sharma said.
Ms. Sharma also cited other cases in which BJP leaders were allegedly involved in atrocities against women such as the Unnao rape case in 2017, Ankita Bhandari case in Uttarakhand and the release of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case under the BJP Government in Gujarat.
“It is noteworthy that in spite of all these barbaric incidents that took place in the last nine years, Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi did not say a word. What does this silence represent?” Ms. Sharma said.