India's top probe agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has once again summoned family members of the Hathras gang rape victim, a day after the agency visited the alleged crime scene to recreate the incident.
The CBI sleuths who took over the investigation after obtaining orders from the state government on Saturday say they have detected certain inconsistencies in the statements given by some of the family members.
"The forensic team carried out a detailed examination of the spot. Later, the statements of the victim's family members were recorded; however, we have found a lot of inconsistencies in their statements, especially of the victim's brother. He has been asked to join the investigation on Wednesday along with some other members", a CBI official told Sputnik.
The victim's mother and brother have been subjected to detailed questioning, as the four accused in the case have appealed for a thorough investigation, alleging that they are being falsely implicated by the girl's family.
In a letter to the state police, one of the main accused, Sandeep Thakur, mentioned that "On the day of the incident (14 September), I met her at the fields. She was along with her mother and brother. I left from there as she asked me to. After some time, I got to know that she was thrashed by her mother and brother which resulted in her death”.
On the other hand, the victim's family has claimed that the girl was dragged away by the four men, who brutally assaulted her after raping her. They later found her in an unconscious state with her tongue cut and her spine severely injured.
The case has acquired a political tint, with the opposition parties accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Uttar Pradesh government of laxity in law and order. The BJP government is also being criticised for improper handling of the case, especially the bizarreness of the forced midnight cremation by local authorities without the family’s consent.