Jat agitation: No complainants but Haryana admits to rape incidents

Chandigarh, Aug 19 (IANS) After being in a denial mode earlier to later admitting a “possibility”, the Haryana government on Friday told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that some rape incidents could have taken place near Murthal town in Sonipat district during the Jat agitation in February this year.

While admitting to molestation of women on National Highway No. 1 near Murthal, the counsel for the government told the court that investigations done by the state police into the incident indicated that rapes took place.

The report of the special investigation team of Haryana Police was submitted to the court in a sealed cover.

The counsel told the court that human semen was found from two women’s undergarments recovered by police investigators from the spot where the alleged gang-rape took place.

However, he said that a number of witnesses, to whom the SIT spoke to, had confirmed molestation but no one had witnessed any rape.

He said that no victim had come forward to record her statement.

After outrightly denying any incidents of rape during the violent Jat agitation, the government in April had admitted that there could be a “possibility” that rapes happened.

Submitting a report by way of an affidavit filed by Inspector General of Police-South Range-cum-incharge, SIT, Mamta Singh, the state police has include Section 376-D (Rape) to FIR No. 118 registered on March 30 this year regarding the incidents along National Highway No. 1 near Murthal.

The section was included on the basis of the complaint of Delhi resident Bobby Joshi that women were allegedly sexually assaulted by the agitationists.

The state government said it had received anonymous letters alleging that the rapes took place.

In February this year, the government had emphatically told the high court that no such incidents of rape or molestation were reported from the district during the agitation.

The preliminary status report was submitted following investigations into the mass gang-rape allegations by an all-woman SIT constituted by the Haryana government.

The SIT report said no victim of the alleged mass gang-rape or molestation had come forward to complain.

The court, taking suo moto notice of the reports in the media about the gang-rapes, had asked the state government and the police to submit a status report.

The court had appointed advocate Anupam Gupta as amicus curiae in the matter.

At least 30 people were killed and over 320 injured in the nine-day long Jat agitation for reservation.

–IANS

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