17:12 GMT28 October 2020
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    Massive protests erupted across northern Indian states after another gruesome gang rape was reported in Hathras, which is around 200 km away from Delhi. The victim succumbed to her injuries two weeks later, and her corpse was forcibly cremated by police officers in an Uttar Pradesh village, as her family was denied to take her body home to Delhi.

    Reports about a gang rape case that took place in the Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh (UP) state in India have left the entire country in horror as a 19-year-old woman, who is said to have been assaulted by four men, succumbed to her injuries.

    Weighing in on an increasing number of gang rape cases in India, Markandey Katju, a former Supreme Court judge, said that the rising unemployment is to blame for the uptick in violence.

    While reiterating that he condemns rape, the 74-year-old also added, “Sex is a natural urge in men, it is sometimes said that after food, the next requirement is sex”.

    ​The statement, which has been branded "distasteful", has stirred controversy on social media, with Indians chiding Katju with sharp responses.

    ​Adding to the row of suspicious developments in the case, the autopsy report issued by Delhi's Safdarjung hospital where the victim breathed her last, noted no sign of an alleged gang rape.

    ​According to various accounts of her statement published in Hindi media outlets, on 14 September, the Hathras victim, who reportedly belonged to the Dalit caste (people from lower strata of country's caste system) was dragged to a farm by her “upper caste” assailants, who also tried to strangle her after the incident.

    A part of her tongue was allegedly chopped off, while her spine had also suffered a major injury.

    All four people named by the victim have been arrested and charged under relevant sections of the Indian penal code, including murder and carrying out atrocities against Dalits or people in the lowest strata of the caste system.

    The state chief, Yogi Adityanath, announced setting up a special investigative team on Wednesday to find out the truth in the incident and asked it to submit the report in the next seven days.

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