Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on Tuesday said she believed that a fair investigation will be done in the Hathras gangrape case and the woman’s family will get justice.
Earlier in the day, Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and other Left leaders met the family of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died last month after four upper caste Thakur men gangraped and tortured her. The politicians demanded an independent judicial inquiry in the case.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath should have the decency to call the Hathras gangrape incident a tragedy.
The Supreme Court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file an affidavit giving details about whether the witnesses in the Hathras gangrape case have been provided protection. The case has been adjourned to next week. The top court was hearing a plea seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation or a Special Investigation Team inquiry monitored by sitting or retired judges.
The Uttar Pradesh government told the court that the body of the Dalit woman was cremated at night to avoid “large-scale violence”. The government said a CBI inquiry was necessary for a “free and fair” investigation.
Here’s what happened through the day:
10.15 pm: The Press Club of India condemns arrest of a journalist from Kerala covering the rape and murder case, reports India Today.
10.06 pm: An FIR has been registered against former BJP MLA Rajveer Singh Pahalwan and 100 others for a meeting of upper caste members, defying prohibitory orders, in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh to support the accused, reports PTI.
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9.46 pm: The Kerala Union of Working Journalists files a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court against the arrest of a journalist from the state by the Uttar Pradesh Police, reports ANI.
On Monday night, journalist Siddique Kappan was detained along with three others from a toll plaza in Mathura when they were on their way to cover the Hathras gangrape and murder case.
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7.54 pm: Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani says UP Chief Minister Adityanath has assured her that a Special Investigation Team has been formed to handle the Hathras case and it has also been referred to the CBI, ANI reports. “I believe fair investigation will be done and justice will be served,” she says.
6.39 pm: The Kerala Union of Working Journalists files a habeas corpus petition in the Supreme Court against the detention of a journalist by the Uttar Pradesh Police, The Indian Express reports. Journalist Siddique Kappan and three others were detained in Mathura on Monday. The police claimed that they were part of the Popular Front of India and Campus Front of India groups and were going to Hathras.
6.00 pm: The Rashtriya Lok Dal approaches the National Human Rights Commission and asks for fair investigation in the Hathras gangrape case, ANI reports. The party also demands inquiry into the baton-charge on its leader Jayant Chaudhary.
4.40 pm: Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and other Left leaders meet the woman’s family in Hathras.
4.18 pm: Union minister Ramdas Athawale meets the woman’s family, ANI reports. “We assured all possible help to the victim’s family,” he says. “They have a son studying in class 12 and he should be given a government job. Republican Party of India is giving them Rs 5 lakh. The Uttar Pradesh government is taking all possible action.”
2.27 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacks Narendra Modi, saying the prime minister has not said a single word on the Hathras gangrape case, according to PTI. He also says Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath should have the “decency” to call the incident a tragedy.
2.23 pm: One of the 19 first information reports filed by the Uttar Pradesh police say “unruly elements offered Rs 50 lakh to the family of the woman to speak untruths against the state government”, according to NDTV. The police report does not specify who these “unruly elements” are but blames them for attempting to stir caste tension in the state.
1.22 pm: The Supreme Court asks the Uttar Pradesh government to file an affidavit giving details about whether the witnesses in the Hathras case have been provided protection, and if the woman’s family has chosen any lawyer so far, Live Law reports. The top court was considering a plea seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation or a Special Investigation Team inquiry monitored by sitting or retired judges in the matter.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government, tells the court the affidavit will be filed by Thursday. The case has been adjourned to next week.
11.26 am: The affidavit goes on to claim that a “vicious campaign” has been unleashed to defame the Uttar Pradesh government, ANI reports.
11.24 am: The state government tells the Supreme Court that the district administration of Hathras had been receiving “several intelligence inputs since morning of September 29 of the manner in which the dharna had taken place at Safdarjung hospital and the whole issue was being exploited and a caste/communal colour was being given”.
The state claims it had received specific inputs that lakhs of protestors of both communities/castes along with supporters of political parties and media would assemble the next morning at the village “which is likely to turn violent and will lead to major law and order problems”.
11.22 am: In an affidavit to the Supreme Court, the Uttar Pradesh government adds that Hathras was high alert on the night of the cremation because of the Babri mosque verdict a day later, NDTV reports. The cremation was performed with “full rites and customs” at night only to maintain law and order, it claims.
11.21 am: The Hathras complainant was cremated in the middle of the night “to avoid large-scale violence” the next morning, the Uttar Pradesh government tells the Supreme Court, NDTV reports.
11.07 am: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Pourakarmika Sangha held a black band protest on Tuesday to express solidarity with the family of the Dalit woman, The Indian Express reports.
11.04 am: The Uttar Pradesh government files an affidavit in the Supreme Court, asking it to order a CBI inquiry into the Hathras case for a free and fair investigation, ANI reports.
10.54 am: A Special Investigation Team investigating the rape case reached the woman’s village on Tuesday morning, NDTV reports. The panel, formed by the Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, visited the scene of the crime and will submit its report tomorrow.
8.02 am: Members of the upper-caste Thakur community in Hathras accused the woman and her family of falsely blaming the four men who were arrested after her statement, NDTV reports. They criticised Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad for asking for a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry and demanded a CBI probe, which has been recommended by the Adityanath government.
“Do you not have faith in the CBI?” He [Chandrashekhar Azad] does not trust the CBI, has come here to do politics,” a Thakur man said. “Just let us meet him once then we will make sure he does [trust the CBI],” a man shouts in one of the videos, surrounded by policemen who simply watch him.
7.54 am: The workers of the Congress party and activists of the Bhim Army clashed in Janjgir-Champa district of Chhattisgarh on Monday, during a protest to demand justice for the woman, the Hindustan Times reports. The clashes erupted after Bhim Army members started shouting slogans against Congress members, the police said.
“Congress workers were protesting against Hathras case. Meanwhile, Bhim Army members went there and started sloganeering against them, leading to the clash. Later police dispersed them,” said Lakhesh Kevat, Station House Officer of Kotwali police station while talking to the media.
7.48 am: Four people, said to have links with alleged radical group Popular Front of India and an associate outfit, were arrested in Mathura on Monday while they were on their way to Hathras from Delhi, PTI reports, quoting the police.
The police said the four were taken into custody at Mathura’s Math toll plaza where the police were checking vehicles after receiving a tip off that some “suspicious people” were on their way to Hathras from Delhi.
7.45 am: The Supreme Court today will consider a plea seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation or a Special Investigation Team inquiry monitored by sitting or retired judges into the gangrape of a 20-year-old Dalit woman from Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district.