The Haryana government on Friday admitted before the Punjab and Haryana high court that eyewitnesses examined by the special investigation team (SIT) reported incidents of molestation in Murthal on February 20 night during the Jat quota agitation.
Reading out portions of the report submitted in a sealed cover, additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta told the bench of justice SS Saron and justice Lisa Gill that 562 mobile phones were found active when the alleged instances of gang-rapes took place in Murthal. The SIT tried contacting the phone owners.
“So far 162 people, including 131 men and 31 women, either commuters or others, were contacted and their statements recorded. Some of them have told of instances of molestation. But none has confirmed rape,” Mehta said.
DUMPED CLOTHES SENT TO DELHI LAB
Mehta told the court that dumped clothes found near Murthal, suspected to be that of rape victims, were sent to a forensic laboratory in Delhi as human semen was found on them. “We have arrested five persons after the FIR for alleged rape and other sections and blood samples of these persons have been taken. They would be sent for forensic examination. But the arrests were for other offences not for rape,” Mehta said.
The government told the court that the SIT contacted the purported NRI rape victim and she denied travelling beyond Delhi airport that night. As for the email citing instances of molestation and rape, which was presumably sent by another NRI woman, turned out to be fake.
The SIT found no evidence about the letter posted in Faridabad, claiming a girl student on her way to Delhi that day was raped.
Mehta also denied reports of a Raj Bhawan employee’s relative falling prey to goons in Murthal.
GO AHEAD WITH FULL STEAM, HARYANA TOLD
The Haryana government told the court that the Delhi journalist, who claimed to have interviewed the mother of a rape victim, was not cooperating despite the SIT approaching him time and again. The court told the state to go ahead with “full steam, as per law”.
“Who is stopping you? Neither the amicus nor the court has any problem,” the bench said. The state said that it wanted to examine the device used by journalist for recording the statement of the girl’s mother.
Haryana to submit action taken report
The high court has summoned the action taken or proposed action taken report on the Prakash Singh commission recommendations from Haryana by September 1.
The panel was set up to look into the role of officials during the Jat quota protests. The court sought a response from the government on a demand of senior advocate Anupam Gupta that the state be directed to provide copies of statements and case diaries into the quota violence FIRs.
Gupta also told the court that a member of the Parkash Singh panel’s extended team informed him about rapes in Murthal. “Amrik Singh, the owner of Sukhdev Dhaba on the highway near Murthal, told the (extended) panel that these persons (quota agitators) did something for which boiling water should be thrown on them. A panel member told me over phone,” Gupta said. He said it was up to that officer to come out in the open.
The Parkash Singh panel was a one-member committee but assisted by IAS officer Vijai Vardhan and IPS officer KP Singh.