Murthal ‘gangrapes’: Couldn’t find any victim or accused, says SIT in final report
The government also submitted other case-related material like case diaries and statements obtained by the police in the run up to investigation.punjab Updated: Dec 07, 2017 23:13 IST
The special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the alleged Murthal gangrapes reported during the February 2016 Jat quota violence is learnt to have told the Punjab and Haryana high court that it could “neither find any victim nor accused in the case” after nearly 18 months of court-monitored probe.
The final report was submitted in a sealed cover to the court on Thursday and is yet to be made public. Top government sources, however, told Hindustan Times that the SIT headed by inspector general Mamta Singh could not find anyone who could corroborate the claims of gangrapes at Murthal on the Delhi-Chandigarh National highway, which had witnessed blockades and violence by the Jat protesters.
“Over 500 hundred witnesses were examined. The mobile tower dump from Ambala to Palwal (of those who travelled on fateful night) was scanned. A large number of people were also contacted. But none came forward to confirm that rapes had taken place,” a top official said.
The SIT was constituted under the high court order and the FIR into the alleged gangrapes was registered in April 2016 after court’s intervention. “Five suspects were also held. Their DNA did not match with that of semen found on clothes at the site claimed to be that of crime,” added the official.
The alleged gangrapes, according to a newsreport by an English daily, took place on the intervening night of February 22 and 23, when Jats seeking quota were protesting across the state. The high court had taken suo motu note of the report in February 2016. The beleaguered state government had roped in Tushar Mehta , additional solicitor general, to defend it.
The official added that some witnesses have told that women were manhandled. “Hence, cases of molestation or sexual harassment are made out. In some FIRs, the relevant sections have been added,” he added, further stating that the SIT could not have probed the matter for “indefinite period”. “As per SIT, their investigation is over. Now it is up to court to consider the material and make an opinion whether the case needs to be handed over to the CBI for further probe,” added the official.
The final report has come at a time when SIT’s is facing criticism before court for “shoddy probe”. In August, a high court division bench had asked SIT to get to the bottom of the case and file a final report. The SIT has already submitted over a dozen interim reports in the HC.
The case has now been adjourned for January 2018 when the court will take up this report and decide on CBI probe. On Thursday, the government also submitted other case-related material such as case diaries and statements obtained by the police in the run-up to investigation in the court.
The HC asked the Haryana government to provide call, phone locations details of then inspector general of police (IGP), deputy inspector general of police (DIG), superintendent of police (SP) of Sonepat area and local station house officer (SHO) of Murthal for the period between February 19 and 22, 2016, by the next date of hearing.
(The story has been updated)
First Published: Dec 07, 2017 15:44 IST