The Haryana government submitted the Prakash Singh committee report on the role of the state top machinery during the Jat quota violence of February and the status report on the alleged Murthal gangrapes, to the Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday.
The Prakash Singh committee report could not be discussed but the brief hearing during which the status report on investigation into the Murthal gangrapes saw a heated exchange between amicus curaie, senior advocate Anupam Gupta, and the counsel of the state government.
The status report was submitted in a sealed over and the content was not discussed in the detail. But the arguments from both the sides pointed towards the state probe indicating of no headway so far.
Dissatisfied with the status report, Gupta sought for an affidavit from Prakash Singh, Haryana DGP KP Singh and additional chief secretary Vijai Vardhan, claiming that they had met Sukhdev Dhaba owner Amrik Singh who had told them of alleged instances of gangrapes during the Jat quota protest. The dhaba is located on National Highway-1 at Murthal, where the alleged gangrapes took place on the night of February 22.
Gupta also read out contents of a Delhi-based newspaper, wherein Prakash Singh is quoted as saying that “something dishonourable happened” at Murthal during the protests.
It transpired during the hearing that Amrik Singh was questioned but he denied having any knowledge about the alleged rapes. It also appeared that the author of report of a Delhi-based web portal was not “cooperating” with the state police and government found “inconsistencies” in his versions. “His statements are contradictory. They (the special investigation team) were calling him. He is not coming forward. The accounts of the author are not corroborated by the driver, who was accompanying him,” the state’s additional advocate generals, Lokesh Sinhal and Parvinder Chauhan, told the court.
However, the amicus curaie questioned the manner in which the investigation was being carried out by the state SIT and submitted that there was an effort from the state to “discredit” the investigation of author.
“In the manner, the report is written, it gives a strong impression of their probe. There appears no difference between both the SITs working (earlier the SIT was headed by IPS officer Rajshree Singh). Nothing can come out of their investigation and I would reiterate my earlier demand of a CBI probe,” a visibly upset Gupta told the high court bench of justice SS Saron and justice HS Sidhu.
However, SIT head Mamta Singh, who was in court, intervened and apprised the court that the state was not submitting a closure report.
“We have not closed the chapter. But so far we have not got anything. Nearly 220 mobile phones used by locals are being scanned. We have arrested a few people. Investigations are on, but we are finding contradictions in claims (of some persons). Amrik Singh was questioned for six hours and he virtually broke down, but reiterated that he did not know anything (about the alleged rapes),” she said. Later, the hearing was adjourned for Wednesday as the matter could not be heard further due to paucity of time.
Haryana to file plea to vacate stay on Jat quota
Haryana is likely to file an application for vacation of stay on the Jat quota on Tuesday. The state is likely to engage Supreme Court lawyer Jagdip Dhankar to defend its decision in the high court. The 10% quota to Jats and five other communities was stayed by the high court last week.