India: UK needs to ‘keep them close’ says Tobias Ellwood
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The girl was the daughter of a ragpicker couple from the Dalit community in India, which is considered one of the most oppressed in the country. Over the weekend, her father asked her to get water from the cooler of a nearby crematorium.
After she did not return for an hour, her mother went to the crematorium and found her daughter’s body lying on a bench.
According to reports, her tongue was blue and she had bruises on parts of her body.
The crematorium priest, as well as three others, are said to have approached the mother and told her the child was electrocuted while fetching water and insisted on cremation for the girl.
The priest is said to have told her: “Go home and sleep. Don’t shout and cry about it.”
He also reportedly offered to perform the girl’s final rights.
However, while speaking to NDTV, the mother said: “When I went there he informed me that my daughter was dead.
“I asked how she died. I told them to dial ‘100’ and call the police. He refused.”
She added: “He pressured me to cremate the body immediately and dissuaded me from calling the cops.
“He said if you call the cops there will be a long court case, my daughter would be taken to the hospital where the police and doctors would take out her organs and sell them.”
As the priest began performing the cremation, the family protested and doused the fire with the help of several other villagers.
Horrifically all that remained of the girl were her feet, some of her scalp and a portion of her hip, Newslaundry reported.
The priest and the other men were subsequently arrested after the family protested.
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The four accused now face charges under laws including child sex abuse and crimes against scheduled castes and tribes.
Due to the body of the girl being largely cremated, medical examiners “could not ascertain anything based on the remaining parts of the body”, Ingit Pratap Singh, a senior Delhi police official said.
Police units will now test other evidence such as bodily fluids from the girl’s clothes to examine claims of sexual assault.
The mother also said officers made her and the husband wait in separate rooms at a police station for several hours.
She also accused the police of beating her husband.
The death of the young girl has sparked local fury and national outrage as well as protests in the area.
Rahul Gandhi, a leader of the opposition Congress party, visited the girl’s family and said: “I spoke with the family… they want justice and nothing else.
“They’re saying justice is not being given to them and that they should be helped. We will do that.”
Chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, visited the family and announced compensation of Rs 1 million (£9,698) for the family and ordered a judicial enquiry.
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