New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday (October 14) informed the Supreme Court that a “three-fold protection mechanism” has been put in place for the security of the victim’s family members and witnesses in the Hathras case in which a Dalit girl was allegedly brutally raped and died due to injuries.

The state government has said that the court “may direct CBI to submit fortnightly status reports on the investigation to the state government which can be filed by the DGP, UP, in the Supreme Court”. It had expressed willingness before the top court to refer the probe to the CBI on the ground that fake narratives were being spread about the case.

Later, the matter was transferred to the CBI which has already started its probe.

In a compliance affidavit filed in the top court, the Yogi Adityanath government said that the state is committed to providing complete security to the victim’s family and witnesses to “ensure free and fair investigation” in the case and adequate forces have been deployed for this.

It said, “the state government, therefore, seeks indulgence of this court to be pleased to keep the above petition pending allowing the investigation by the CBI to be conducted under the supervision of this court in a time-bound manner.”

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Giving details of protection and security provided to the victim’s family members and the witnesses, the state government has said that adequate number of security personnel, including up to 15 personnel of armed constabulary, have been deployed near and outside her house and eight CCTV cameras have been installed in the outer surrounding of her residence.

The compliance affidavit was filed in pursuance to the October 6 direction of the apex court which had termed the Hathras incident as “horrible” while hearing a plea related to the case and asked the Uttar Pradesh government to inform it about the steps taken to protect witnesses.

The affidavit said, “The government of Uttar Pradesh is committed to provide complete security to the victim’s family and the witnesses to ensure free and fair investigation,” adding that adequate forces have been deployed to ensure the protection of the members of the victim’s family members — her parents, two brothers, one sister-in-law and her grandmother — who are residing at Chandpa village in Hathras district.

It said that at the entrance of the victim’s village and near her house, a total of 16 police personnel, including two inspectors and four lady constables, have been deployed, adding that outside the victim’s house, two sub-inspectors have been deployed round the clock shift-wise and 1.5 PAC section, comprising of up to 15 personnel, have been deployed outside her house.

The affidavit said guards have been deployed on a rotation basis in two shifts to ensure the safety of victim’s family members/witnesses when they are at their residences. It said personal security gunners/shadows have been deployed for the security of family members of the victim and a total of 12 constables have been deployed shift-wise for this.

It said eight CCTV cameras have been installed in the outer surroundings of the victim’s house along with fire extinguisher/fire pressure pumps and 10-12 lights have been installed in the surrounding of her house.

“The inspector (in-charge) of police station Chandpa has been made the in-charge of the aforesaid entire arrangements and also to deploy suitable police force for the same. He shall supervise the police force and oversee the security arrangement on a daily basis,” it said.

It further said, “The circle officer, Sadabad, is to ensure robust security arrangement by holding regular clear briefings of the police force and in addition, he shall also inform the family members about the security arrangements provided to them.”

“Further, to deal with any emergency situation, an appropriate QRT team has also been deployed. In addition, the state government has also installed eight CCTVs to ensure 24 hours surveillance/observation of the premises,” it said adding “The entire security staff deployed at the village has been strictly instructed to ensure that there is no intrusion in the privacy of the victim’s family/witnesses and that they are free to move and meet the people they want.”

Meanwhile, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad today said that “transparency was very important” in giving justice and that the CBI team probing the Hathras incident did not have any senior official from SC or ST or OBC sections or the minority community.

He said in a tweet that the case has been registered under the SC/ST Act. “Not a single senior officer belongs to SC, ST, OBC, minority (community) in the CBI team investigating the Hathras case. Although the case has been registered under the SC-ST Act. CBI works under the Central Government. I request Modiji not to make the investigation team one-sided. Transparency in justice is very important,” Azad said in a tweet.

CBI team visits govt hospital to collect record

A day after recording the statements of Hathras victim’s family members and recreating the crime scene, CBI officials today visited the government district hospital in the Hathras town to collect the record of her treatment and stayed there for over one hour.

The CBI team interacted with doctors and other staff at the hospital to enquire about the details of treatment given to her after her alleged gang rape and murderous attack on September 14.

Earlier on Tuesday, the CBI team spend over six hours in Boolgarhi village, visiting the crime scene, the place where she was cremated, and her house to record the statement of her kin.

Camping in Hathras for the last three days, the CBI team collected all case-related documents from the Uttar Pradesh Police.

Earlier in the day, CBI re-summoned the father and the two brothers of the victim for questioning. They were questioned by the CBI team on Tuesday as well.

The CBI team on Tuesday collected samples from the spot where the victim of torture and alleged gang-rape was cremated in Hathras on September 30. She succumbed to her injuries at Delhi`s Safdarjung Hospital on September 29. 

(With Agency Inputs)

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