In a country like India, where people worship female goddesses every day, one would expect a certain amount of respect tendered towards its female residents. Although this isn’t the case at all. India witnesses one case of rape or sexual assault every 10 minutes despite it being the most obnoxious form of violence that a woman can go through.
From the case where a 16-year-old tribal girl, Mathura was raped by two constables in 1972 to Nirbhaya’s rape in 2012, not much has changed. Despite several criminal amendment acts, the number hasn’t gone down. After every such awful act, the entire narrative shifts from the harm caused to a female’s body and mind to a plethora of other factors. Crime against women, in general, is never treated independently. The honour of families gets involved. The victim’s modesty is put under surveillance and often narratives involving her alleged involvement with the perpetrator comes to the headline.
The citizens of our country have grown so accustomed to these incidents that these don’t even reflect in the top news of the day. For a rape incident to outrage and shake India’s very backbone needs to be extremely ghastly. Now one would ask, what is so different about the Hathras gang-rape case? Why and how is it inviting such large-scale media coverage? Why has it enraged the youth to the extent of coming out and protesting amidst sky-rocketing Covid-19 cases?
This recent alleged incident of sexual violence has sent out a shock wave throughout the nation as it involves a 19-year-old Dalit girl from Boolgarhi village in the district of Hathras. She was found naked in a bajra field with a broken neck and an injured tongue. She was immediately taken to the nearest Police station from where a chain of conflicting statements began. The only substantial statement that can be considered in the entire ordeal is the dying declaration given by the victim in the presence of the district magistrate on 22nd September. She named 4 perpetrators in her statement accusing them of sexual assault finally leading to their arrest under Sections 307 and 354 of IPC.
The victim succumbed to her injuries on 29th September in Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi. She was brought back to Hathras the same day and her body was cremated in the dead of the night around 2:30 am against the will of her family while they were detained inside their house surrounded by numerous police personnel. This reckless and dubious act has brought the entire Uttar Pradesh’s government under serious scrutiny. The Allahabad High Court took suo moto cognizance of the matter keeping all the procedural lapses in mind clarifying its stand stating, “The matter is of immense public importance and public interest as it involves allegation of high-handedness by the state authorities resulting in violation of the basic human and fundamental rights not only of the deceased victim but also of her family members”. The High Court also mentioned how the entire incident has shocked their conscience and they are inclined to examine the state’s conduct accordingly. The act was in clear violation of Article 21 of the Constitution and against an individual’s right to die with dignity with proper last rites and ceremonies in accordance with Hindu traditions. 
Apart from denying allegations of rape based on a medical examination done after several days, many other malpractices of the government and police have come to the forefront to which no reliable justification has been offered. This escalated tensions to which the government's only response was to impose Section 144 of the CrPC in the village depriving media or opposition members from meeting the victim’s family. These restrictions have now been relaxed and the Supreme Court has accepted UP government’s demand for a CBI probe in the matter. The latter also instructed the investigation to be monitored by the Allahabad High Court and directed the CRPF to provide security to the victim’s family and all the witnesses in the case.
Nothing in the case can be said with certainty unless the investigation is concluded and a final judgement is drawn. This case has a number of unanswered questions like is all of this being done with regards to the century-old tradition of caste-based injustices committed against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes? Or is this being done to fulfil political motives, since, with a year and a half left for assembly elections in UP, the opposition is using the incident to decrease the support of the party? Or is this being done to save the face of the Yogi led BJP government? Or is all of this just a case of ‘honour-killing’? Although, no matter what the court decides, rape is an act or an expression of dominance and power over the victim and it should only be viewed in that sense independent of all other factors. No amount of legislation can prevent Indian females from being sexually assaulted unless the very mentality of our society is changed.
 Tuka Ram And Anr vs State Of Maharashtra 19979 SCC (2) 143
 Mukesh & Anr vs State For Nct Of Delhi & Ors (2017) 6 SCC 1