Amid nationwide outrage over Hathras gang-rape and murder case of a 19-year-old girl, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday took suo motu cognizance of the Hathras incident and issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government. The UP government and state police are facing the heat over the incident of alleged gang-rape of a woman and the way her cremation was done by the Hathras administration in the dead of night.
The Allahabad High Court while issuing notice to the UP government — over forcible cremation of the Hathras victim and other issues — cited a report shown in India TV's 'Aaj Ki Baat' programme anchored by Editor-In-Chief and Chairman, Rajat Sharma. The High Court notice mentions, "In this very context we may also refer to an electronic media program shown on India TV channel by the name "Aaj ki Baat" where the anchor Shri Rajat Sharma dwelled on the issue of alleged forcible cremation of the deceased victim at length and in the said program videos which were recorded on the spot at the time the deceased victim's body arrived in the village and her cremation indicating the forcible cremation without the family members being allowed to participate, that too, in the midst of the night contrary to the religious practices followed by the family, have been shown. The family members were shown as stating that cremation is not carried out after sunset and before day break and that the body of the deceased should be taken to their home, but this was not done."
Meanwhile, the UP government on Thursday said that the forensic report has revealed that the 19-year-old Hathras woman who succumbed to her injuries at a Delhi hospital was not raped.
ADG, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar said the cause of her death is an injury on the neck and trauma resulting due to it, as per the forensic science laboratory (FSL) report.
"The report of the FSL has come. It says clearly that samples did not have sperm. It makes clear that there was no rape or gang rape," the ADG said. "Even the woman in her statement to police did not mention about rape but talked about 'marpeet' (beating) only," he said.
Last week, Additional Superintendent of Police, Hathras, Prakash Kumar had told media persons that initially the accused were booked for attempt to murder under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code. Later, on receiving more inputs, Section 376-D (gangrape) of the IPC was added to the FIR, he had said.
ADG Prashant Kumar said some people presented wrong facts to disturb social harmony and create caste violence in the state.
"Police took immediate action in the case and now we will identify those who tried to disturb social harmony and create caste violence," he added.
Meanwhile, Hathras District Magistrate Praveen Kumar Laxkar was caught on camera issuing a veiled threat to family members of the 19-year-old Dalit girl whose death has sparked nationwide outrage.
In a video that has surfaced, Laxkar can be seen telling the girl's father: "Half of the media people have left today, the other half will leave by tomorrow. Only we will stand with you. It is up to you whether you want to change your statement or not."