A joint delegation of the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Communist Party of India on Tuesday met the family members of the Dalit woman who was allegedly gangraped and killed in Hathras, and demanded an independent judicial enquiry into the matter.
The delegation consisted of CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja, CPI-M politburo member Brinda Karat, CPI national secretary Amarjeet Kaur, CPI-M UP state committee secretary Hiralal Yadav and CPI UP state secretary Girish Sharma.
"We have been told about the brutal gangrape... and that her cremation was done in the middle of the night without informing the family. These sort of things are unheard of in the 21st century and are a blatant violation of the Indian Constitution and the guarantees it gives to our people. We expressed our solidarity with her family," Yechury said.
He said it was not sympathy, and told the family that they would fight for justice for "our daughter, justice to our Constitution".
"We demand an independent judicial enquiry and identify the culprit and punish the perpetrators. Let all the new arguments saying that it is a caste conflict or some conspiracy, please examine them. There are laws to deal with them. However, none of this can be used as an excuse to delay or deny justice," he said.
The leaders highlighted that at this point the priority was to ensure justice for the victim and the issue was not confined to Hathras and Uttar Pradesh but was a national concern.
"It's an issue which concerns everybody in India. It is an all-India issue. We have to make sure that we create an atmosphere where such things don't recur.
"If all the distractions and diversions being created by the UP CM are to delay or deny justice then it is not acceptable," Yechury said.
Karat said the family told her that they were feeling unsafe in the current situation and they are unhappy with the case being referred to the CBI.
"We demand a court-monitored probe. The family should be protected. What is shocking is that the UP CM is yet to say one word stating that a crime has been committed, or what happened to her was wrong. There is nothing more shameful that that," she said.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped in a Hathras village by four men on September 14. After her condition deteriorated, she was referred to Delhi's Safdarjung hospital where she succumbed to her injuries last Tuesday.
She was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.
Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family".