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Hathras Case: Questions about violence against women in India from UN Voices

Hathras Case: Questions about violence against women in India from UN Voices
Description of case:

A 19-year-old Dalit woman was reported to be allegedly raped in Hathras on September 14 in a field by four upper-caste men, leaving her in a critical condition - all four accused have been arrested. Found with spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and cuts in her tongue. She died around 3 am on Tuesday, but her autopsy report has no mention of rape - which has led to police claiming that the victim was 'not raped' highlighting that 'neck injury and trauma' were mentioned as the cause of death and that no traces of sperm were found in her private parts. The case has been transferred to CBI now.

Similar to this, another case had been reported in the Balrampur district. After allegedly being raped by two men, a 22-year-old Dalit woman died. All of those implicated in the incident were arrested. While the victim's mother believed her daughter's legs and back were broken by the rapists, a charge denied by the police. The UP government has referred the case to a fast-track court and may, if necessary, invoke the strict National Security Act (NSA).

UN’s Expression:

Commenting on the recent Hathras and Balrampur incidents, a statement expressing concerns about gender-based violence faced by women and girls from marginalized social classes was released by the UN Resident Coordinator in India on Monday. With all rape victims and their families, the UN expressed its thoughts and prayers. Supporting the call for 'strict action against the offenders' from PM Modi, the UN said it was important to ensure prompt social support, therapy, health care, and rehabilitation for the family of the victim.

The UN said that it stands committed to providing continued support to the Government and civil society to address violence against women.

Although, The Ministry of External Affairs did not appreciate the remarks made in India by the UN Resident Coordinator and called them "unwarranted" or can say “unjustified”.

In conclusion, the UN official added that the UN is committed to providing support to the Indian government and civil society to address violence against women while stating, "As we fight the challenge of COVID-19 with the determination to build back better India, building respectful relationships devoid of prejudices and gender biases is a top priority”.


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