As the investigation in the alleged rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl in Delhi's Nangal in underway, mother of the 2012 Delhi gang-rape and murder victim Nirbhaya on Thursday, 5 August demanded action against the policemen who allegedly tried to pressurise the victim's family.
"There are some police officers involved. They thrashed the father of the girl, held the mother captive and tried to pressurise them. I request Delhi police commissioner to take action against these officers," Asha Devi said after she met the family on Thursday.
"If what the mother is saying is true and if policemen are involved, they need to be held accountable first so that no cops repeat such actions in the future," she added.
A priest and three employees of a crematorium in Southwest Delhi were arrested on 2 August after the girl died under mysterious circumstances and was allegedly forcefully cremated by the accused, despite objections by the family.
The accused have been identified as Radhey Shyam, the priest at the crematorium, and Kuldeep Kumar (63), Laxmi Narain (48), and Mohd Salim (49), all of whom were reportedly acquainted with the girl.
'When will Laws Become Stringent? When Will Mindsets Change?'
While the autopsy has so far not confirmed that the girl was raped, the accused have claimed that she died after being electrocuted while taking water from the cooler at the crematorium.
"This case is neither the last nor the first. Whenever such an incident takes place, we debate on TV channels and light candles. Whenever government representatives come, they say there is a need to strengthen laws and change the society's mindset. When will you make laws more stringent? When will the midset change?" Asha Devi said.
"I believe the mindset will change only when such criminals are hanged. There are only talks of making the laws stringent. If we really want the daughters of the country to feel safer, the government will need to become stricter and the accused will need to be given the strictest possible punishment. The law is not flawed, the ones who implement it are," she added.
Demanding that the case be heard by a fast-track court, Asha Devi said, "I request the government to help them. They also need to be provided with security so that neither the cops nor the accused try to pressurise them. If the government and the police had supported them, we would not have had to take to streets today. The Central government should be ashamed that a child died."
The Case So Far
Police sources had earlier told The Quint that the accused priest knew the girl's family and would often offer them food.
After the accused informed the family of the girl's death, they reportedly tried to convince them to cremate her without informing the police, claiming that if police file a case, the doctors would steal the girl's organs.
The mother, however, claims that the girl might have been raped before she was killed by the accused.
The Delhi police on Wednesday had said that the cause of death has not been ascertained yet as most of the girl's body was burnt during the cremation.
The police has filed the case against the four accused under relevant sections of the IPC, POCSO and the SC/ST act.
. Read more on India by The Quint.Delhi Minor Rape & Murder Case: Cops 'Pressured' Kin, Says Nirbhaya's Mother'Will Shoot My Son if He's a Criminal': Kin of Accused in Dalit Girl's Rape . Read more on India by The Quint.