“Corona is such a disease of which many were scared but the situation that we are seeing in Uttar Pradesh is even more dangerous than corona,” declared Sanjaybala on Friday evening.

The 34-year-old social worker was among the hundreds that gathered in Jantar Mantar in Central Delhi on Friday evening to protest against the brutal gang-rape and murder of a Dalit woman by dominant-caste men in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.

This was perhaps the first demonstration to take place at the protest site in nearly six months after legal restrictions on large gatherings were imposed in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 has claimed more than 100,000 lives in India.

On September 14, four upper-caste men raped and assaulted the Dalit woman. She died in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on September 29. After this, her family said that her body was hastily cremated by police officials in Uttar Pradesh without their consent.

The crime has sparked nationwide outrage against the adminitration of the Uttar Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Adityanath. The state police have barricaded the village, refusing to let politicians or journalists meet the family.

On Friday evening, the Hathras superintendent of police and four other police officials were suspended after the Special Investigation Team formed...

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