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CBI team examines family members of Hathras victim, visits crime scene

A CBI team on Tuesday quizzed the family members of the 19-year-old Dalit victim in the gangrape and murder case in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh and examined the crime scene, officials said.

The team, which reached the crime scene in Bulgarhi village on Tuesday morning after registering the FIR two days back, took the brother of the victim to record his statement, they said.

The victim had died a fortnight after an alleged brutal assault, including gangrape, by four men of the village on September 14.

When the brother was being taken away by the team, speculation about his arrest started doing the rounds, but CBI Spokesperson RK Gaur said that “no arrest has been made”.

The CBI investigators spoke to the family members at their residence in detail about the sequence of events on the day of the crime, they said.

The officials directed the local police to cordon off the crime scene, which was virtually a thoroughfare for nearly 29 days since the incident.

Meanwhile, the CBI has augmented its Hathras team by assigning four more officers under Superintendent of Police Raghuram Rajan who is heading the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Ghaziabad.

Seema Pahuja, Deputy SP from ACB, Chandigarh, has been appointed as investigation officer of the case.

Additional SP VK Shukla, who has recently completed investigation of Sathankulam custodial death case, has been brought in along with Deputy SP RR Tripathi from Anti-Corruption Bureau, Delhi and Inspector S Shreemathy from special crime.

The CBI investigators were joined by forensic experts from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) to carry out a detailed crime scene analysis, the officials said.

The woman had succumbed to her injuries at a Delhi hospital on September 29, following which the District Magistrate ordered cremation in the village in the dead of the night allegedly against the wishes of her family.

The case was referred to the CBI by the state government after a political storm over the alleged apathy of the administration.

The Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Trinamool Congress and other opposition parties of the state, including the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal, staged protests demanding justice for the victim.

The officer concerned of the Uttar Pradesh police had registered a case of attempt to murder on a statement by the brother of the victim who, as per the FIR at Chandpa police station, had said that the accused tried to strangulate his sister in a millet field and escaped when she raised an alarm.

The notification issued by the Centre on the request of the state government had asked the CBI to probe, rape, murder and atrocity and “any attempt, abetment and/or conspiracy, in relation to or in connection with such offence(s) and/or for any other offence committed In the course of the same transaction or arising out of the same facts”.

“The complainant had alleged that on September 14, 2020 the accused tried to strangulate his sister in the millet field. The case has been registered by CBI on the request of Uttar Pradesh Government and further Notification from Government of India,” CBI Spokesperson RK Gaur had said after registration of the FIR on Sunday.