The Haryana police continued to deny the allegations of gangrape by Jat protesters in Murthal in Sonepat district in its status report submitted before a bench in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday.
The status report was filed before a division bench comprising of justices SK Mittal and HS Sidhu, with the police denying incidents of alleged rapes said to have occurred on the intervening night of 22-23 February, according to a report on India Today. The case has been adjourned to 14 March.
The ADGP Law and Order Mohammad Akil and DIG Rajshree Singh, who is heading an all-women Special Investigative Team (SIT) currently investigating the matter, were present at the hearing.
The Punjab and Haryana HC had taken suo moto cognizance of the matter after The Tribune reported of the alleged gangrapes at the time of the Jat quota agitations. The bench had appointed Anupam Gupta as amicus curiae to assist in the matter.
Meanwhile, Congress has slammed the report filed by the Haryana Police, as well as the ruling government in the state, demanding the imposition of President's rule in the state.
"I fully contradict the report of the DGP. There was no law and order. Three truck drivers have given statement that women were dragged into the field there. One victim has lodged an FIR that there was mass gangrapes,” Congress leader Pramod Tiwari was quoted as saying according to a report on The New Indian Express.
Tiwari added that the CBI should enquire into the matter and should take severe action against the guilty as the Manohar Lal Khattar-led government has failed to maintain law and order in the state.
Meanwhile, amid the round of denial from both the police and the government, the first FIR has been lodged on the matter by the SIT with a Delhi-based woman coming forward and alleging that she was dragged out of her car, and gangraped in Murthal on the night of 22 February.
The FIR includes the name of the complainant's brother-in-law among the seven others against whom the case has been lodged. According to her statement, she was on her way to Narela in Delhi from Haridwar in a van along with her 15-year-old daughter, who was not raped during the incident, according to India Today.
"Prima facie this seems to be a family dispute... the woman has mentioned her brother in law's name in FIR," SIT head Singh was quoted as saying in a report on The Economic Times.
Meanwhile, residents of the Hasanpur village, one of the hamlets near the spot of the alleged crimes, have also denied the occurrence of the alleged crimes. They went on to add that they were defending the local eateries at the time of the protests.
"The locals surrounded our perimeter and ensured not even a glass pane was broken. I called the village heads as I feared my dhaba will be burnt.
"They assured me the eateries were the pride of the village and no harm would come to them, ," Amrik Singh, the owner of Sukhdev Dhaba on National Highway-1, was quoted as saying in report on The Economic Times.
"Will villagers who saved the dhabas pull out women and rape them?," asked Hasanpur village head Jai Narayan in the report.
Meanwhile, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal has promised help to the women allegedly raped by the protesters.