The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea on the Hapur lynching incident after a survivor of the crime moved the top court seeking protection and a court-monitored special investigation team inquiry, Live Law reported.
The development comes after the accused in two separate lynching cases in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan bragged about their crimes to an investigative team from NDTV. The team had posed as researchers doing field work on Hindutva outfits, NDTV said on Tuesday.
The plea has also sought that the trial be transferred outside Uttar Pradesh. The court scheduled the hearing of the petition for August 13.
Rakesh Sisodia, who was arrested after 45-year-old meat trader Qasim Qureshi was lynched in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district on June 18, said he even told the jailer that he was involved in the crime. However, in a written statement to the court, he had denied any role in the attack and claimed he was not present at the spot.
“I wasn’t scared to go to jail,” Sisodia told NDTV. “I caught the attention of the jailer, who asked me what my case was. I said Section 302 and 307 [of the Indian Penal Code], full and half murder, they slaughtered cows, I killed them.”
The police had arrested nine men on charges of murder, attempt to murder and rioting. Four, including Sisodia, are currently out on bail. “Mujhe 3-4 gaadi jail par lene gai thi [3-4 cars had come to pick me up from jail],” he said. “Rakesh Sisodia zindabad ke naarey laagey. Mera swaagat kiya logo ne baahe failaa ke, mujhe bada garv hua [People were shouting slogans in my name. People welcomed me with open arms, I felt very proud]. My army is ready. If anyone slaughters a cow, we will kill them and go to jail a thousand times.”
Sisodia also claimed that they had police support. “The police are on our side because of the government,” said Sisodia. “Otherwise, nothing would’ve happened if Azam Khan [who was a minister under the previous Samajwadi Party government] was in power.”
Vipin Yadav, who is accused of killing Pehlu Khan in Alwar in April 2017, admitted before the hidden cameras that the mob thrashed Khan for over one-and-a-half hours. All the nine men arrested in the case are out on bail.
“First there were 10 people then the crowd swelled,” he said. Bragging about his role in the crime, Yadav said, “They weren’t stopping their trucks, so I had to overtake them and take their keys to catch them.”