Leaked phone call of India Today journalist shows how victim family was being incited

The whole nation shocked by the heinous rape and murder of a 20-year-old girl in Hathras, UP. The victim was gang-raped and tortured by four men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras two weeks ago.

The woman had endured several fractures, her spinal cord was found broken which resulted in paralysis and her tongue was cut off. The incident has shaken the nation to the backbone, condemning UP for the sharp rise in rape-related crimes in the recent past.

As soon as UP police deliberately cremate the victim’s body without the family’s permission, a huge crowd came out on the road to protest against the administration. Reports say that the family was locked in their home when the police were taking away the body.

Meanwhile, a telephonic conversation between one India Today journalist and the brother of the deceased, Sandeep, has gone viral which has been accessed by OpIndia.

In the audio clip, Tanushree Pandey can be heard trying hard to convince Sandeep to send her a video statement of his father alleging that he was under immense pressure from the administration.

Pandey refers to a video of the father shared by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi. “We are not satisfied with this,” the father said, as per a video shared by Gandhi on Twitter. “My daughter’s case should be probed by the CBI and monitored by a Supreme Court judge. We are under pressure from officials and confined to our home while the media has also been disallowed from meeting us.”

In another conversation, it has been revealed that Sandeep is asked not to accept Rs. 25 lakhs. He is offered Rs. 50 lakh to reach a conclusion. The lady in that conversation says that some politician is saying that ‘faisla’ should not be reached. During this conversation, the names of one ‘Rahul’ and Manish Sisodia and Barkha Dutt also comes up.

The objective of the conversation is clearly to have Sandeep’s father on record claiming that he was pressurised to give a statement that he was satisfied with the investigations into the matter thus far. She says, “Sandeep, please do one thing for me. And I promise that I will not move from here until your family has received justice… Sandeep, make a video of your father where he says, ‘Yes, there was a lot of pressure on me to issue a statement that I am satisfied. I want investigation because my daughter has died. And we were not even allowed to see her and she was buried.’”

She further said, “It will only take five minutes. Quickly make the video and sent it to me only.” During the whole conversation, the brother appears reluctant and hesitant while the journalist tells him that he should consider her his sister in a bid to convince him. Meanwhile, an SIT probe has been ordered into the matter.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.