Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

New Delhi: The four accused in the alleged gang rape and torture of a young Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras in September, have been charged for gang-rape and murder by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the SC/ST court here.

The CBI has put the charge of gang-rape and murder against Sandeep, Luvkush, Ravi and Ramu in a local court in Hathras. The court has taken cognisance of it, lawyer for the accused told reporters outside the court.

The Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on September 14. She died on September 29 at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital during treatment.

The police's handling of the case - particularly the late-night cremation of the victim allegedly without the family's approval - led to angry protests across the country.

The officials, however, maintained that the cremation was done "as per the wishes of the family".

CBI officials said that they have looked into the role of accused Sandeep, Luvkush, Ravi and Ramu who are in judicial custody. And they were also put through different forensic tests at the Forensic Science Laboratory in Gandhinagar, the official said.

The CBI had constituted a special team to probe case as it was handed over to its Ghaziabad unit. The team recorded statements of family members of the victim.

The CBI officials, who had camped in Hathras after taking over the case on October 11 had also met doctors at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, where the victim was treated after the alleged gangrape on September 14.

The Yogi Adityanath government had faced a lot of flak for the case which was later transferred to the CBI.

Priyanka Gandhi Says 'Truth Has Prevailed'

Slamming the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi said, "The truth has prevailed once again. The CBI chargesheet filed today against four accused in the Hathras case has stated that the 19-year old victim was brutally gangraped and murdered."

She said that this raises serious questions on the Adityanath government in the state, police, ADG Law and Order, District Magistrate of Hathras and Senior functionaries of the state administration.

She said that the state left no stone unturned to deny the victim dignity - in life and death.

"She was cremated without her family's consent in the middle of the night. Senior police officers and bureaucrats outrightly denied any rape, intimidated her family and indulged in blatant shaming of the victim," the Congress leader said.

She said, however, the entire might of the Uttar Pradesh government and police could not suppress the truth.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were not allowed to visit Hathras after the case. Rahul Gandhi was even manhandled when he tried to walk to Hathras from the Yamuna Expressway after his vehicles was stopped by the Police.

The Congress leader later met the victim family members.

"I cannot forget the anguish of the 19-year old's mother, who couldn't even bid her daughter goodbye. All that her family sought was justice for their child," Priyanka Gandhi said.

"I am heartened to see that an important step towards providing that justice has been taken by the CBI and hope that it will bring the victim's family some comfort amidst the immense suffering that they have so courageously endured," she added.

(With IANS Inputs)