The fury over the alleged rape and murder of a nine-year-old Dalit girl in Delhi Cantonment is growing with locals as well top political leaders expressing anguish. Demands for quick action and justice have been raised from multiple sides.
Residents of Old Nangal village in the cantonment, where the girl lived with her family, have been protesting since Sunday night when the incident came to be reported.
The hurried cremation of the child’s body has drawn comparison with the Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras case from September 2020. Then, too, the rape victim’s body was disposed of in the cover of night, allegedly without the parents’ consent. The move was seen as an attempt to destroy evidence.
#Hathras horror repeated in Delhi | A dalit girl allegedly raped inside crematorium and cremated by a priest without consent of family | Police as usual trying to do all type of hush up | Are we going to be silent spectators to such horrific crimes again #Nangalbrutality
— Bezwada Wilson (@BezwadaWilson) August 2, 2021
On Sunday, too, Radhey Shyam, the priest of the cremation ground where the rape and murder allegedly took place, coerced the victim’s family into cremating the body.
The girl’s mother later told the media and the police that by the time she and her relatives managed to douse the flames, only the girl’s feet could be salvaged.
The child had gone there to get some water from the facility’s cooler, the police said. Following her failure to return even after a long time, the girl’s family received a phone call telling them about the girl’s death by electrocution.
Her parents later raised an alarm and gathered the locals. While four persons, including the priest, have been arrested by the Delhi police, demands for quick action have been pouring in from a cross section of people, especially on social media.
Will those proud of daughters who brought medals in Olympics come forward to protest against the rape and murder of a minor Dalit daughter in Nangal village of Delhi? #DalitLivesMatter
— ममता राजगढ़ (@mamta_rajgarh) August 3, 2021
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, too, commented on similar lines.
“Dalit’s child is also the nation’s daughter,” he tweeted in Hindi along with the screen shot of a news report of the incident. His comment comes amid several Indian sportswomen earning heaps of praise for their performance in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. Shuttler PV Sindhu and the entire Indian women’s hockey team, besides others, have often been referred to as “the country’s daughters” by many following their stellar display.
The Delhi Chief Minister, meanwhile, pledged help to seek justice for the nine-year-old.
“The murder of the 9-year-old in Delhi after being ravaged was extremely shameful. There is a need to strengthen law and order in the city. The accused must get the death sentence as soon as possible,” Mr Kejriwal tweeted today.
“I’ll be meeting the victim’s family tomorrow. We’ll help them in all ways in their battle for justice.”
Dalit leader and Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Azad, meanwhile, said their team was already present amid the protesters in Nangal village. He met the bereaved family today.
“This is my own family. She was my sister,” Mr Azad tweeted in Hindi.
“From Prime Minister to Home minister everyone lives here still there is no sense of safety for women. Why has the Chief Minister not met the victim’s parents yet? He lives only a few kilometres from here,” he had said earlier.
A 9 year old girl was allegedly raped and forcibly cremated in the national capital, right under the watch of Mr @AmitShah!
The harrowing experiences faced by our women & girls and members from the SC community on a daily basis, show just how INSENSITIVE the HM is. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/dfeAUceF6R
— Abhishek Banerjee (@abhishekaitc) August 3, 2021
The Delhi Commission for Women, calling the incident “serious” and meriting “urgent attention”, has instituted a panel to carry out a probe. Summoning the Deputy Commissioner of Police of South West District, Chairperson Swati Maliwal has demanded the “complete case file” of the matter, copies of the FIR and various statements, and other details.