In 2018, a minor nomadic girl was raped and murdered by the high caste Hindus in Rassana village of Kathua district in hostile Jammu and Kashmir. Nation was shaken and shattered, not because of rape and murder, but the kind of support the rapists received from the section of the society, including top notch leaders of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), who not only supported the rapists but also caused hindrances in the smooth investigation of the matter. They mobilized people to make the incident look communal, because the victim was from weaker section of Muslim community. Although, the law took its own course and due to the persistent efforts of an iron lady, Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat, the court convicted those high caste rapists. After two years, in 2020, a 19-year-old Dalit girl was brutally murdered, her tongue partially cut, her spine broken, as a severe “punishment” for resisting the alleged rape by four high caste young Thakur boys of her village Boolgarhi. She critically survived for 14 days before her damaged body gave up to her serious injuries. The crime did not end here; the shame of the nation was yet to come when the government machinery, led by BJP, overtly supported the rapists by burning and not cremating her body in the dead of night, without seeking consent of the family. The government, which has sold Hinduism in all its political manifestations, failed to convince the rational society that no Hindu culture allows cremation of the body before sunrise, so the politicization of religion by the Hindu radical party stands exposed. The police and civil administration of the Yogi Government played a major role in suppressing the evidence. The Police after the post-mortem did not hand over the body to the family rather burned her at a secluded place near the village, under the cover of guns.This Valmiki girl, in her last statement on the death bed, specifically named Sandeep and Ravi, both Thakur boys from her village and two others for cruelty. She stated in her statement that she was mercilessly beaten because she was resisting “jabardasti karna”. The dying declaration further pin-pointed that they gang-raped her and in the legal parlance and social interactions “jabardati” word donates rape/define rape. Her mother, the only witness and first to reach the spot of crime stated that she found her daughter lying naked and was profusely bleeding from her private parts. She covered her legs with/lower part with her Sari. The medical examination of the 19-year-old was conducted on September 22 at AMU’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, while the incident took place on September 14. The swabs from her Vigna were taken on 22nd September 2020. The sperm’s life is said to be 72 hours. Taking swab was a formality on the part of police.The Uttar Pradesh police and district administration made serious human rights violations. The family’s right to cremate her body according to their belief has been snatched from them. By cremating the body, the police destroyed several aspects and facts of evidence as it is a legal-medico criminal case. The body has not been shown to members of her family and their relatives. There is a more serious charge that her body have been ‘burnt’ instead of conducting cremation. Only parents have the right to lit the pyre of their daughter. Four village men, who belong to the privileged and influential community, have been arrested in connection with the crime. Five senior police officers, including the district police chief, have been suspended over the investigation amid criticism of law enforcement’s actions – including the cremation of the woman’s body in the middle of the night against the wishes of her family. Local authorities barricaded the village after the cremation to block opposition politicians and media from meeting the victim’s family. Even human rights activists and social activists were not permitted to enter the village. Heavy police were pressed into service to check all the entry points to the victim’s village. Sedition cases have been registered against two journalists from Kerala who tried to enter the village.Destroying the evidence is also a crime. Under whose influence the district administration and police were performing to protect the high caste Thakur boys. The girl is a Valmiki, a Schedule Castes (SC) who performs the job of cleaning from generations. The popularly used term for them is Dalits. The nation’s conscience was once again shaken. There were protests every day in every corner of the country. Women organizations were shocked over this outrageous ganged-rape incident. They are critical of the UP administration and the UP police for their dedicated-attempts to cover-up the rape part of the case. The public at large have lost its faith in UP police and demanding the Supreme Court to order a supervised investigation by a man of integrity. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party of Uttar Pradesh has been shamelessly issuing statements to demean the victim, now dead. The Government also appeared to be sheltering the accused Thakur boys. The Thakurs’ are a high caste of UP and belong to the landed aristocracy of the state.The UP-government’s narrative is against the family of the victim and they are weaving international conspiracy theories to create rift between the Dalits and high castes, with the help of lapdog media.Raping of Dalit girls is routine affair in the villages and every time such an incident occurs, the Government rushes to add more stringent measures to the existing laws. The Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955, was changed to the Protection of Civil Rights in 1978. Due to its inability to curb atrocities against SCs and STs, a new Act called the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities), Act, 1989, was passed by Parliament. Singularly positioned at the bottom of India’s caste, class, and gender hierarchies, largely uneducated and consistently paid less than their male counterparts, Dalit women make up the majority of landless laborers and scavengers, as well as a significant percentage of the women forced into prostitution in rural areas or sold into urban brothels. As such, they come into greater contact with landlords and enforcement agencies than their upper-caste counterparts. Their subordinate position is exploited by those in power who carry out their attacks with impunity.In spite of this, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Rita Izsák observed that massive underreporting of cases occurs due to society’s tendency to blame the victim, especially when she belongs to a lower caste.The latest NCRB data reveals that every day 10 Dalit women are raped. These are merely reported cases and there is a spike in atrocities against SCs (7%) and STs (26%). The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, an NGO, revealed that over 23% of Dalit women report being raped.Calling the Hathras incident “horrible… extraordinary and shocking”, the Supreme Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to provide security to victims’ family and witnesses in the case of the alleged rape and murder case.The Allahabad High Court, which took the Suo-moto cognizance of the case and the hurried cremation of the victim’s body, ordered senior officers of the state government and police to be present at the next hearing. And asked the police to provide the court the status of the investigation in the case and explain the sequence of events that led to the cremation and the family’s complaint about the way it was done.An average of nearly 90 rapes was reported in India every day last year, according to data by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), but large numbers are thought to go unreported. In 2019 alone, more than 500 Dalit women were raped in Uttar Pradesh, according to the NCRB data, while the nationwide figure for the same year was more than 3,500. The reason behind pattern and unrestrained rape culture in India, especially of lower strata of the society by the upper caste, is the support of the government and political parties to the rapists, which not only encourages the rapists but also promotes the crime. The judiciary has to launch fast-track courts for such cases and there should not be any provision for parole or meeting with relatives or another person except his lawyer. Option for the accused to move repeated appeals in higher court must be done away.The writer is a senior journalist and Indo-Pak peace activist.