3-layer security given to Hathras victim’s kin: UP govt to SC
A three-fold protection mechanism, comprising armed constabulary, civil police, and CCTV cameras and lights, has been deployed at the victim’s village entrance, house and surroundings, a compliance affidavit filed by the Yogi Adityanath government said.Updated: Oct 15, 2020, 02:51 IST
The Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it is committed to providing complete security to the family members of the Hathras gang rape victim and witnesses in the case, and placed before the court the details of the steps taken to ensure they were protected.
A three-fold protection mechanism, comprising armed constabulary, civil police, and CCTV cameras and lights, has been deployed at the victim’s village entrance, house and surroundings, a compliance affidavit filed by the Yogi Adityanath government said.
“The state government has deployed adequate forces to ensure protection of the victim’s family. The government of Uttar Pradesh is committed to provide complete security to the victim’s family and witnesses to ensure free and fair investigation,” the affidavit said.
Further, personal security gunners have been provided for the security of victim’s father, mother, brothers, sister-in-law and grandmother, it added.
“The entire security staff deployed at the village has been strictly instructed to ensure that there is no intrusion into the privacy of the victim’s family and witnesses and that they are free to move and meet people they want,” it was submitted.
The affidavit also stated that the victim’s brother informed the additional superintendent of police that they engaged two lawyers on behalf of their family as private advocates in the matter.
The affidavit was filed pursuant to an order passed by the Supreme Court on October 6 seeking details of the security being provided by the state government to the victim’s family and witnesses.
The apex court’s order came after a plea by a social activist, Satyama Dubey, and two lawyers, Vishal Thakre and Rudra Pratap Yadav. alleged failure on the part of Uttar Pradesh authorities in dealing with the matter. The petition sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incident in which a 19-year old Dalit woman from Hathras was gang raped and murdered.
The victim, a member of the Valmiki caste, was allegedly attacked by four members of the dominant Thakur caste on September 14, and breathed her last on September 29. At 2.30am the next day, her body was forcibly cremated by local authorities in a field outside her village, triggering outrage across the country.
The UP government has maintained that it was forced to do so in order to avert an extraordinary law-and-order problem posed by protestors and political parties.
The state, in an earlier affidavit filed on October 5, said that it is in agreement with the prayer for a CBI probe but that such a probe should be monitored by the top court. The probe was handed over to CBI by the state on October 10.
In its affidavit on Wednesday, the UP government requested that a direction be issued to CBI to submit fortnightly status reports on the investigation to the state government which can then be filed by the director general of police of UP before the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, an intervention application was file before the Supreme Court by an NGO, Munnokka Samudaya Samrakshana Munnani (Forward Community Welfare Front), based in Kerala, praying that guidelines be issued to ensure that when such crimes are reported, it should be first ascertained whether or not such crime is indeed the outcome of caste-based discrimination before portraying it as one.
“It becomes imperative that the random use of caste in the reporting of crimes even when the caste of the involved parties is of no relevance, only helps to vilify and malign entire sections of people leaving them with no legal remedy and needs to be checked,” the application said.