Security deployed to protect Hathras victim's family & witnesses, UP tells SC
The Uttar Pradesh government informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that a three-fold protection mechanism has been put in place for 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, which earlier said that probe into the case may be conducted by the CBI in a time-bound manner, 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.
The UP government had expressed willingness before the top court to refer the investigation to the CBI on the ground that fake narratives were being spread about the case with political motives.
Later, the matter was transferred to the CBI which has already started its probe.
In a compliance affidavit filed in the top court, Yogi Adityanath government has said the state is committed to provide 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.
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, it said.
Giving details of protection and security provided to 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 Government of Uttar Pradesh is committed to provide complete security to the victim's family and the witnesses to ensure free and fair investigation, the affidavit said.
It said adequate forces have been deployed to ensure 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.
The affidavit said in order to ensure the security of victim's family/witnesses, three-fold protection mechanism has been devised -- armed constabulary component, civil police component comprising of guard, gunners and shadows and installation of CCTV cameras and lights to keep watch of outer surroundings of the victim's house.
It said that at the entrance of victim's village and near her house, a total of 16 police personnel, including two inspectors and four lady constables, have been deployed.
It said 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 rotation basis in two shifts to ensure safety of victim's family members/witnesses when they are at their residences.
It said personal security gunners/shadows have been deployed for security of family members of victim and a total of 12 constables have been deployed shift-wise for this.
It said eight CCTV cameras have been installed in outer surrounding of the victim's house along with fire extinguisher/fire pressure pumps and 10-12 lights have been installed in 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.
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, the affidavit said.
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.
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, the affidavit said.
It said that victim's brother has informed the police in writing that they have engaged advocates on behalf of the family.
However, they have requested that the government advocate should also pursue the case on their behalf, it said.
The 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on September 14. She died on September 29 at Delhi''s Safdarjung Hospital during treatment.
The victim was cremated in the dead of the night near her home on September 30. Her family alleged they were forced by the local police to hurriedly conduct her last rites. Local police officers, however, said the cremation was carried out "as per the wishes of the family".