CBI team questions kin of 4 accused in Hathras gang-rape case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the alleged gang-rape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman, visited Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district and questioned the family members of the four accused in the case on Thursday.

Tight police security was seen at the homes of the accused identified as Sandeep, Ravi, Ramu, and Lavkush, who are currently lodged in Aligarh jail. The relatives of Luvkush Sikarwar were quizzed by the CBI for over three hours.

Before heading to the village in Hathras, two CBI officials visited the Chandapa police station.

On Wednesday, the central agency had interrogated the victim’s father and two brothers for six hours. The questioning began at the CBI’s camp office in Hathras at 11 am and continued till 5 pm. Hathras sub-divisional magistrate Anjali Gangwar said, “The male members of the victim’s family were called to the camp office of CBI and were taken there under full security.” The agency’s camp office is at the office of the deputy director (agriculture) in Hathras.

Prior to this, Seema Pahuja, who is heading the CBI team, on Tuesday met the female members of the victim’s family.

A 15-member CBI team had inspected the crime scene on Tuesday and called the victim’s brother there. The victim’s mother and aunt were also called to the spot later in the day. The CBI team also visited where the victim was cremated at 2:30 am on September 30 even as her family protested. They alleged that they could not even see their daughter’s face for the last time.

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The victim’s relatives have also requested the authorities to shift the four accused – all from the Thakur caste – from the Aligarh jail to another prison far away to which the sub-divisional magistrate responded saying, “Such a decision can be taken at the government level, if such a demand is being made.”

The Dalit woman was allegedly raped on September 14. She died at a Delhi hospital on September 29 following the assault. She had named the four accused before her death that has sparked protests across the country.

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