The death of the Unnao rape victim at a hospital here after she was set ablaze led to sorrowful and angry reactions from her family members, who demanded justice by killing the accused either by imitating the Hyderabad ’encounter’ or by hanging them to death.
While opposition leaders accused the Uttar Pradesh government of failing to provide security and justice to those brutalised by sexual violence in the state, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath gave the assurance that the case would be pleaded in a fast track court to provide speedy justice to the deceased woman’s family.
Following a post-mortem examination, her body is being taken to her native village in Unnao’s Bihar area by road in an ambulance.
Stating that the perpetrators responsible for the victim’s death have no right to live, her father and brother demanded that they either be chased by police and killed in an encounter or be hanged to death.
“I want to see the accused persons being chased and shot dead,” the woman’s father said at their house in Unnao. “I do not want money or any other kind of help. I want to see that the accused are chased and shot dead like the Hyderabad encounter or hanged to death,” he said.
The woman’s brother also reiterated the demand to kill the accused either in an encounter or by hanging, telling reporters here that his sister will get justice when all those responsible for her death “will go to the place where she has gone”.
After battling for her life for almost 40 hours, the 23-year-old woman died following a cardiac arrest on Friday night at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. She had suffered more than 90 per cent burns and was airlifted to Delhi after being shifted from a local hospital to Lucknow.
She died on the day the four accused in the gang rape and murder case of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad were killed in an ‘encounter’ with the Telangana police, triggering a tsunami of reactions across the spectrum ― ranging from appreciation to condemnation.
As political reactions to the sensitive Unnao case poured in, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath termed the victim’s death as “extremely sad” and conveyed his condolences to the aggrieved family.
“All the accused persons have been arrested. The case will be taken to a fast-track court and punishment will be given,” he said in a statement.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who rushed to Unnao to meet the victim’s family, took to twitter to blame the state government for its “hollow law and order mechanism” apart from society’s collective failure that prevented justice from being delivered to the woman.
“Why the victim of Unnao gangrape case was not given security keeping in mind an earlier incident of Unnao? What action has been taken on the police official who refused to register an FIR? What steps are being taken by the government to stop crime against the women, which take place on a daily basis?” she tweeted.
Priyanka Gandhi was referring to another such alleged attack in the district in July when the car in which a woman, who had accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar of raping her, was hit by a truck.
Samajwadi Party president and former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav sat on a ‘dharna’ outside the Vidhan Bhavan in Lucknow following the Unnao rape victim’s death.
He termed Saturday as “Black Day” and blamed the BJP government for the death of the gang rape victim.
“What help you have given to the family of the girl? (This) government is giving sorrow and creating difficulties,” he said, demanding that the UP government be “removed”.
The Samajwadi Party will hold ‘shok sabhas’ (condolence meetings) in all the district headquarters “in memory of all the daughters who have lost their lives,” Yadav said.
BSP supremo Mayawati asked the UP government to ensure “proper justice” to the victim’s family, saying the young woman’s death was extremely painful and that her party was with her family in their hour of grief.
“To prevent such traumatic incidents all over the country, including in UP, state governments should create fear of law among people and in view of the incidents, the Centre should also make a law to ensure strict punishment by hanging to death within a stipulated time-frame,” Mayawati tweeted.
The 23-year-old woman was set afire by five men, including two of her alleged rapists, on Thursday morning when she was going to Rae Bareli to attend a court hearing in the rape case filed by her.