Startling new revelations have come forward in the Hathras case after a detailed on ground investigation by Hindi news portal Falana Dikhana.
Their team talked to over a dozen people in the village of Boolgarhi, Hathras where the incident took place on 14 September, resulting in the death of the 19-year-old victim on 29th September. They have also managed to obtain video of a statement by the victim as she lay on the ground on the morning of 14th September, as well as a video statement by her later in hospital.
Here are the key points that emerge from Falana Dikhana‘s investigation –
- A man driving his tractor in the fields nearby was one of the first to arrive upon hearing Manisha’s mother’s shouts. The mother said that Sandeep had attacker her daughter. Luvkush (one of the accused, age 19) was also cutting grass along with his mother nearby.
- In a video recorded on the day of the attack, the victim says “mora gala dabo diyo (my throat has been strangled)”. A man asks, “why?”. She doesn’t say anything and he repeats the questions, “Why was your throat strangled, tell?”. Manisha says, “mein toko zabardasti na karne di, ta ko (I didn’t let him force himself on me, that’s why.”) The man asks, how she was strangled, and she says “with hands.” Someone else asks if she has other injuries, and she says “No, my throat is badly injured.”
- Another video shows the victim later lying on a hospital bed where she says “Sandeep strangled me. We had gone to collect grass…he took me away and tried to force himself on me, and when I refused he strangled my throat. That’s it.” A man asks, “Is there some feud going on?” A woman in the background says, “Yes, a feud is definitely going on.” The girl says what sounds like “paise ke liye udhar (a loan for money).”
- The village head said that both families had been having a dispute since 2001, and had filed FIRs against each other which they later both withdrew.
- The girl (19) and Sandeep (22) had reportedly fallen in love despite their families opposition, and had been caught together on more than one instance. Each time they were scolded and beaten up by their respective families. When the matter came up before the panchayat and it suggested getting the two married, both families did not agree. The girls’s brother was strongly against the relation.
- A close relative of Sandeep said that Sandeep had bought a mobile for the girl and called her a few months back which her bhabhi (sister-in-law) picked up. She complained about this to her husband (girl’s brother) and mother-in-law.
- Other villagers confirmed that Sandeep and the girl were in a relationship. They claimed that if her brother’s phone call details are analyzed, it will become clear as to how the entire incident was made into one of gang-rape.
- One villager Anil Rana offered a different version of events – he said that Sandeep had gone to meet the girl in the field, and her mother spotted both of them together. She immediately called her son. Seeing the enraged brother coming towards them, Sandeep ran away and the brother then strangled his sister using her chunni (cloth worn over neck and chest). The mother later gathered everyone and told them Sandeep had attacked her daughter, and the girl was forced to give the same statement, Rana alleged.
- The FIR lodged by the girl’s brother on 14th says that around 9.30 AM that his sister was cutting grass along with his mother who was a little distance away. Sandeep came and strangled her with the intention to kill. When my sister cried out and my mother shouted that she is coming, Sandeep ran away.
- Two other relatives of Sandeep who have been accused of ‘gang-rape’ are Rajkumar aka Ramu (28) and Ravi (35), both reported to be his chachas (paternal uncles). Ramu works in an ice factory/chiller, and the factory owner confirmed that Ramu was present at the factory at the time of the incident, and has other workers too who can testify the same. The same has been stated by Ramu’s mother Rajwati Devi, while speaking to India Today, who also confirmed the family feud going back over two decades between the two families.
- It was on 22nd September that the girl first mentioned gang-rape and the relevant sections were added to the FIR. Villagers claim the entire incident has been thoroughly politicised and sensationalised. Fingers are also being pointed at local BJP MP Rajiv Diler whose family is accused of instigating the girl’s family into levelling gang-rape charges.
Anyone who sees the video of the girl recorded on morning of the attack can see that she is clothed with the kameez (upper garment) being torn at the right shoulder, and apart from severe bruising on throat, no other injury is visible. Her tongue was not cut, eyes were not gouged out, as per some macabre claims floating around.
Yet, a NewsLaundry report says “The Dalit woman tortured and gang-raped in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras…was found naked, bleeding and barely alive.” They visited the village and interviewed the girl’s family, but did not ask around the village to obtain the video recorded on the morning of the attack? Or did they obtain the video but decided to bury it as the girl’s mother’s allegations (‘My daughter was lying naked with her tongue protruding from her mouth…I also noticed bleeding from her vagina.’) suited their narrative?
Medical examination showing no evidence of rape is being reported as ‘police refusing to confirm sexual assault’, ‘denial of dignity to a Dalit girl after death’. All reports are awash with the keyword ‘caste’ and castes of both the victim (‘Dalit’ Valmiki) and the accused (‘upper caste’ Thakur) are frequently repeated. NDTV‘s headline of an article by CPM leader Brinda Karat (sister of NDTV co-owner Radhika Roy) blares – “Adityanath’s Caste Code On Full Display In Hathras”.
Yes, caste divisions are a problem in our villages and rural areas. But feudal orders exist in all agrarian societies, and the ground reality in Bharat today is far different than say 3-4 decades back. The complex interplay between different social groups based on economic muscle, local politics and other factors is beyond the black & white ‘upper caste’ vs ‘lower caste’ worldview of journalism schools.
NewsLaundry claims Uttar Pradesh has seen multiple incidents of rape and sexual violence ‘motivated by caste hatred’. But these same outlets refuse to acknowledge that sexual assaults on Hindu girls by Muslim men are motivated by religious hatred.
Falana Dikhana‘s ground report, especially the two videos of the victim they have put out, prove that what is shown to us as news by electronic and print mainstream media can often be far divorced from reality, with certain incidents being distorted beyond belief to serve vested interests. The level of Hindu hatred in mainstream left-liberal media is off the charts.
The truth about what happened in Hathras will only emerge after a thorough investigation free of political correctness pressures. But does the truth matter anymore for our frothing at the mouth, morally righteous liberal elite?
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