21:02 GMT20 October 2020
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    During the anti-citizenship protests earlier this year in India, the Uttar Pradesh government arrested several members of an Islamic outfit, the Popular Front of India (PFI), on suspicion of fuelling the agitation. The state government also wrote to the federal Home Ministry, demanding a ban on the organisation.

    A Delhi-based journalist was arrested by India’s Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday along with three others while visiting Hathras district where a young girl was allegedly gang raped recently.

    According to police, the journalist, Sidhique Kappan, who was heading to Hathras to cover the alleged rape case, is linked to the PFI, which claims to be working for Muslim empowerment.

    The alleged gang rape triggered a huge uproar in India after the victim succumbed in a Delhi hospital to the murderous assaults by four men and the state police cremated the body hastily in the early hours of 30 September.  

    ​In a statement, the police said they had arrested four persons following a tip-off that some “suspicious people were on their way to Hathras from Delhi”.

    Police said that during questioning, the men admitted to being linked to the PFI and its affiliates.

    Also, the Uttar Pradesh government has sought an investigation by a federal probe agency into the alleged gang rape and murderous assault on the 19-year-old woman.  

    The incident has sparked a wave of political and public outrage across the country, prompting several political leaders to visit the victim’s family and demand justice for her.

    Citing a conspiracy hatched by rival political parties to defame the local authorities, the government headed by Hindu monk Yogi Adiyanath on Tuesday made a plea before the Supreme Court to order an investigation by a federal agency under the court’s supervision.

    The plea wanted the probe to cover all related aspects of the incident, including politics and conspiracy to affect the law and order in the state, along with the conduct of the local police in dealing with the gang rape case.

    Related:

    'Forgotten Nirbhaya': Uttar Pradesh Police Forcibly Burn Remains of Hathras Gang-Rape Victim
    Rahul, Priyanka Gandhi Head to Uttar Pradesh to Meet Family of Gang-Raped Girl Amid Protests
    UN in India Concerned Over Sexual Violence Incidents in Uttar Pradesh
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    gang rape, Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi, India
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