Owners of 13 vehicles torched on National Highway-1 during the Jat quota violence have said no incidents of rape or molestation took place on February 21 night, says a Haryana police status report accessed by Hindustan Times.
Media reports had said vehicles with women were reportedly stopped on National Highway-1 near Murthal in Sonepat district on Monday morning, and the woman dragged out and raped in the fields.
“Video footage taken from close circuit television cameras (CCTV) installed at Amrik-Sukhdev Dhaba on NH-1 at Murthal does not show any woman with torn clothes,’’ said the status report sent by Sonepat superintendent of police Abhishek Garg to Haryana DGP Yashpal Singhal on Friday.
HT spoke to some stranded travellers whose vehicles were vandalised at Murthal during the Jat agitation. They denied having seen or heard about any such incident.
The report said some old garments found near the spot where the vehicles were vandalized may have been of a tribal community (Gadia-Lohar) who were there a few days ago. Forensic experts are examining them.
The Sonepat district police chief in the status report said that on February 25, he himself examined the incident spot and nearby areas. “13 vehicles were set ablaze in the violence and whose first information reports have been registered by the police. Eight vehicle owners have come to us and the remaining five have been contacted by us. None of the 13 persons have corroborated that any incident of molestation and rape took place. Still, we are conducting an in depth probe,’’ said the status report.
What happened on Sunday night?
The status report describes the incidents that took place on NH-1 on the intervening night of February 21/22. “At 2 in the night, police got information that some vehicles plying on NH-1 were torched by miscreants. The commuters took refuge in nearby houses and dhabas. The Sonepat deputy commissioner, the Sonepat superintendent of police, inspector general of Police (IG) Paramjit Ahlawat reached the spot with forces.
On the way near Nidaan hospital, officials came across distressed commuters, including women. They were sent inside the hospital for safety reasons. Moving further we came across several commuters -- both men and women -- at Amrik-Sukhdev dhaba.
These commuters told us about the torching of vehicles by miscreants. They were shifted from the trouble spot and ferried in Haryana Roadways buses. After that the police forces removed all obstructions on NH-1 and facilitated entry of other vehicles to Delhi.”
The police, after media reports about the alleged molestation and rape of women, got in touch with three persons some journalists had spoken to. “During inquiry, Zile Singh of Hassanpur village, Master Om Singh and Hari Kishen, both of Kurad village, told police that there was no incidents of molestation or rape that night. The police took the statements of Dalel, Rajendra and Bijendra, all from Kurad village, but no one confirmed such incidents that night,” the police report said.
Senior officers, NCW member at the spot
Principal secretary, industries, Devender Singh and inspector general Ahlawat went to Murthal and adjoining areas but did not come across any person who could corroborate the allegations.
National Commission of Women member Rekha Sharma and her team also went to the spot but could not verify the allegations, said the police report.
The DGP said police contacted journalist Praveen Arora, who co-authored The Tribune report on the alleged gang rapes, but failed to get any information.