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UP Govt seeks Supreme Court monitored CBI inquiry in Hathras case, says victim cremated in presence of family who agreed to cremation

UP govt told the apex court that in such extraordinary and severe circumstances the district administration decided to convince the family of the deceased to cremate her with all religious rites at night to avoid large scale violence in the morning.

The Uttar Pradesh Government has submitted a detailed affidavit in the Supreme Court seeking a CBI inquiry monitored by the apex court in Hathras case. The affidavit states that the Hathras victim’s body was cremated late night based on intel inputs that trouble was brewing in the area as vested interests were trying to exploit the incident by giving it a caste/communal colour. The Yogi government stated that the administration took the decision to avoid large scale violence the next morning.

Vicious campaign unleashed to defame state govt: UP to SC

Uttar Pradesh govt’s affidavit also stated that the Uttar Pradesh police has been taking all urgent and necessary actions since the case was first reported on September 14, 2020. However, a vicious campaign has been unleashed to defame the State govt and a certain section of print and electronic media, social media and political parties have been attempting to incite caste/communal riots.

Explaining in details the investigation carried out so far in the case, the Yogi government told the court that the vested interests are attempting to ascribe motive to derail a fair probe. It, therefore, urged the apex court to direct CBI investigation into the case for free and fair investigation and asked SC to monitor the CBI probe into the case.

Series of circumstances leading to Hathras victim’s late-night cremation

The UP govt in the affidavit explained the series of extenuating circumstances that compelled the government to go with the 2.30 am cremation. Firstly, the UP govt had received specific intelligence inputs late at night of September 29 (the day the Hathras victim succumbed to her injuries in Safdarjung hospital in Delhi) that lakhs of protestors of both communities/ castes along with the supporters of some political parties and media will assemble in the morning of September 30 at the village and are likely to turn violent leading to major law and order situation.

Snippet of affidavit submitted by UP Govt

Secondly, there was already a high alert in the district due to the verdict of the Ayodhya- Babri case. And also the government had to ensure that there were no large gatherings in the Covid times in view of the central govt guidelines. It told the apex court that in such extraordinary and severe circumstances the district administration decided to convince the family of the deceased to cremate her with all religious rites at night to avoid large scale violence in the morning.

Hathras victim cremated late night by her father in presence of police

It may be recalled how political parties of all hues and a certain section of the media used the late-night cremation of the Hathras victims as a tool to settle scores with the BJP led government in the state. Opposition parties had attempted to spread canards by alleging that the government was trying to save the accused by doing so. Some media reports also claimed that the cremation took place without the family’s approval. However, the victim’s father accompanied the police to the cremation ground where the rites were performed.

UP government reiterates that Hathras victim’s medical reports have ruled out “rape” angle

Meanwhile, the UP government also reiterated in the SC that the provisional medical report of JJ Medical Hospital Aligarh did not have prima facie findings of rape. The samples were sent to FSL Agra, which gave its final opinion ruling out rape, says the UP Govt affidavit.

Initial media reports mentioned family feud as the reason for crime, rape angle included 8 days later

Pertinently, when the matter was first reported by the Hindi daily Jagran on September 15, the reason was mentioned as a family feud between that of the accused and the victim. Moreover, the report that was published in Jagran had no mention of any sexual assault on the victim. It even identified the victim by name, which is not revealed in case of sex crimes.

A Jagran report published on the 3rd October asserted that a senior Congress leader in Uttar Pradesh met the victim on the 19th of September following which allegation of eve-teasing were added to the list of charges by the victim. The report further stated it was on the 22nd of September, eight days after the incident had occurred, that allegations of rape emerged for the first time and three additional names were added to the list of accused.

The UP state government filed the detailed affidavit hours before the Supreme Court will hear the first PIL over the Hathras case. The Supreme Court will hearing a plea seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or a special investigation team (SIT) probe into the Hathras gangrape and murder on Tuesday. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde will hear the petition by a social activist Satyama Dubey and two lawyers Vishal Thakre and Rudra Pratap Yadav alleging failure by the Uttar Pradesh (UP) authorities in dealing with the matter.

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