The best decision UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath can take on the Hathras controversy is hand the matter over to a judicial probe. The BJP would be accused of keeping the matter in its own hands if the CBI were to be given the case, as it also runs the central government. A truly impartial judge should be identified and given a time limit to present her (preferably) conclusions. This would take the wind out of the sails of many parties and politicians hoping to further their various causes based on this tragic occurrence.
It would also benefit the Chief Minister as, already, facts are coming to light about what actually happened. Based on the video recording of the victim’s statement to a journalist before she lost consciousness, as well as that of her mother, she was attacked by one person, whom she named. According to the victim, following an altercation, he tried to force himself upon her and then beat her up when she resisted. The mother pointed out that there was a long standing dispute between the family of the perpetrator and the victim (long before Yogi came to power). Forensic evidence that has emerged, quoted by UP’s DGP, Law and Order, also indicates that it was not a gang rape. This may not be important for those who are determined to ‘hang the rapists immediately’, but will certainly be of interest to the defence lawyers representing the other three implicated in the case.
It seems to be a case of sexual assault, and battery, with a touch of caste animosities. It is for the court to decide, as certainly more evidence will emerge in the coming days. That the matter has been pursued this far is due to the usual effort put in by journalists, particularly TV news channels. They are bound by their code of ‘breaking news’ and ‘even more breaking news’, so are quick to judgement. However, politicians should know better. In the eagerness to further a divisive caste agenda, they are beating down the doors of the victim’s home. But, as the local officials have reportedly warned the family, they will be gone soon, but the enmity they will have created in the village would be left behind. Who will pick up the pieces, later, when everybody will have forgotten about them? A crime was committed, the alleged perpetrators were caught, cases have been filed and the matter will ultimately go to the court. What is it that the politicians are trying so eagerly to prove? Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with “the beti’s honour”, that much is certain!