On Thursday, the Allahabad High Court dismissed a petition of the family members of the victim in the Hathras case, after they moved the Court claiming ‘illegal confinement’ by the district administration. The highly-politicised case pertains to the murder and alleged murder of a 19-year-old girl on September 29 due to strangulation, allegedly by ‘upper-caste men’.
A habeas corpus writ petition was filed on behalf of the victim’s family members by the national general secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Valmiki Mahapanchayat, Surendra Kumar. The family alleged that even though the district administration allowed them to meet a few people, they were unable to move at ‘free will’ and subjected to ‘illegal confinement’. When the case brought up before the Division Bench of Justice Pritinkar Diwaker and Justice Prakash Padia, the Court rejected the petition without delving into merits of the case.
Allahabad HC tells family to approach the Supreme Court to redress grievance
While the Allahabad High Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file an affidavit and clarify its stand, the Court observed, “Undisputedly, the apex court is in seisin with the entire case and the matter is being taken as public interest litigation by it. “The +Court noted that it will not ‘be proper’ to ‘entertain’ the case since the district administration has provided security to the petitioners as directed by the Supreme Court and Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court in a suo motu petition on October 1. The Court, however, stated, “If the petitioners have any grievance, they are at liberty to file appropriate petition/application before the apex court.”
UP government heightens security protocol for victim’s family
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government has enhanced the security measures for the family members of the 19-year-old victim. Reportedly, a total of 60 security personnel and 8 CCTV cameras have been installed at their house to ensure their safety.
While speaking on the development, DIG Shalabh Mathur, deputed as a nodal officer to Hathras from Lucknow, stated that the security personnel were doing 12-hour shifts outside the house of the victim’s family and that a gazetted officer will be appointed to supervise them. He further assured that a control room will be established in case such a need arose. “With the help of CCTV cameras, the house of the victim will be monitored round-the-clock,” he emphasised.
SP (Hathras) Vineet Jaiswal said that a register is being maintained to keep a track of all visitors to the house of the victim’s family. He informed that every family member and witness have been provided with 2 security personnel, besides deployment of a fire department team, a quick response team and two local intelligence unit personnel. He stated that a metal detector has also been installed at the entrance of the main gate of the house of the victim’s family.
The UP govt enhanced the security of the family after the matter of security of the witnesses were raised by portioners in the petition filed in the case relating to the case. The apex court had asked the UP govt to file an affidavit informing about the steps taken in this regard.
The Hathras case
Congress and other political parties have been using the Hathras case to further their narrative and gain a stronghold in Uttar Pradesh on anti-upper caste sentiment. Every political party in the opposition is trying to use the tragedy for their gain and the media is not far behind in using it for their own interests. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath has ordered a CBI inquiry into the matter with numerous facets emerging to the story. The chronology of the events in the Hathras case can be explored here.