Hathras stunning, says Supreme Court docket; desires witnesses protected

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 6

Amid allegations of pressure on the family of the Hathras gangrape victim from various quarters, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to spell out if a witness protection plan was in place and if the family had hired an advocate.

While hearing a PIL on the issue, a Bench headed by CJI SA Bobde termed the incident “shocking, extraordinary and horrible”.

Edit: Smelling a conspiracy

It adjourned the matter to next week after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the UP Government, said an affidavit would be filed by Thursday. He said witnesses were already under protection.

The apex court said it would ensure that the probe into the case was smooth. It also sought to know how the scope of the proceedings before the Allahabad High Court could be widened.

Mehta said: “I am not opposing CBI probe. But the unfortunate incident should not be sensationalised. I am only praying that this court should supervise the probe… There are narratives and narratives that may impede a fair probe.”

The state government has already recommended a CBI probe even as it denied that the 19-year-old Dalit girl was raped by four upper caste men in Hathras on September 14.

The woman died on September 29 in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital during treatment and her body was cremated at night near her home on September 30. Her family alleged that the police forced them to hurriedly conduct the last rites.

The police, meanwhile, arrested four Hathras-bound persons, including a scribe from Kerala, in Mathura, claiming they were linked to the Popular Front of India, an outfit accused of fomenting violence over CAA.

Yogi government alleges bid to derail probe

  • In an affidavit, the UP Government said politicians and a section of media were trying to give a communal colour to the incident
  • It urged the SC to monitor the CBI probe, alleging ‘vested interests’ were attempting to ascribe motive to derail a fair probe
  • Citing provisional medical report of JJ Medical Hospital, Aligarh, and final report of FSL, Agra, the affidavit asserted that there were no signs suggesting rape

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