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Horrible, shocking, extraordinary: CJI calls Hathras case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has termed the Hathras incident horrible, shocking and extraordinary as it sought an affidavit from the Uttar Pradesh government on three aspects: how the family and witnesses are being protected; has the family chosen a lawyer to assist them in the matter and what is the scope of the Allahabad High Court proceedings and how could it widen its scope.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said the court will ensure the investigations into the matter is smooth.

“The incident is horrible, shocking… We are hearing you as the incident is extraordinary,” said Chief Justice to senior advocate Indira Jaising, representing an intervenor in the matter.

Jaising submitted before the bench that she does not want to interfere with the investigation and insisted on the transfer of the case from one state to another. She also cited that 27 FIRs have been lodged against several protesters in the matter and emphasized on providing witness protection.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, submitted that outside the courts, several narratives were being weaved, and this could come to an end by a monitoring and investigation by a central agency.

Mehta reiterated that the family has already been given police protection.

After a detailed hearing in the matter, the top court issued notices and adjourned it to next week for the state to file another affidavit on the three aspects.

The remarks from the top court were made during the hearing of a PIL filed by a social activist seeking CBI or SIT probe in the Hathras incident in which a 19-year-old Dalit teenager was allegedly gang raped by upper caste men and then reportedly dragged by the neck with her dupatta on a field in Bulghari village. The victim was partially paralyzed and died after battling for 14 days. She was shifted from Aligarh hospital to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on September 28.

She died on September 29 and was cremated at 3 a.m. on September 30. The family has alleged coercion regarding the time and manner in which the cremation took place.

Petitioner’s lawyer said “We are shocked at the incident.”

The Chief Justice replied everyone is shocked, and queried the lawyer on his client’s locus in the matter. “When a court asks you why are you here, you have to give different reasons…we understand your anxiety,” noted the bench.

Congress leader in custody for Hathras remarks

Hathras (Uttar Pradesh): Shyoraj Jivan, who was caught on camera trying to incite public sentiment in Bulgarhi village over the fatal assault on a 19-year-old allegedly by four upper caste men, was taken into police custody on Thursday afternoon when the Dalit Congress leader arrived at the Hathras police station in response to summon issued to him.

The Congress leader was seen in the purported videos, admitting that Congress used the Hathras incident for furthering its politics as it had been devoid of issues for a long time.

He was seen using provocative language while speaking to the victim’s family and the entire Valmiki community apparently with the intent to inflame caste violence in the district.

The Hathras police had booked Jivan for sedition charges and summoned him for interrogation within 24 hours. The case was lodged on Wednesday night.

The Dalit Congress leader, however, denied all the allegations.

Hathras victim’s family go to court against ‘illegal confinement’

Prayagraj: A petition has been filed in Allahabad High Court on behalf of the family members of the Hathras victim, alleging that the district administration has illegally confined them in their house.

The court has been requested to direct the district administration that the “family members be released from illegal confinement and allowed to move out of their house and meet people”.

This habeas corpus writ petition, filed by the family members of the victim, is listed on October 8 for hearing.

Om Prakash, who is the father of the victim, along with her mother, two brothers and two more family members have filed the petition.

In the petition, it has been alleged that on September 29 the petitioners were illegally confined in their house by the district administration and since then they are not being allowed to meet anyone.

It has been further alleged that “though, at a later stage, a few people were allowed to meet the petitioners, the district administration is still not allowing them (the petitioners) to move out of their house at free will”.

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