By Shishir Tripathi
Following the Punjab and Haryana High Court directive to file detailed reports on alleged cases of rape during the Jat agitation and total loss of public and private property, the Haryana government on Monday filed its response. According to the reply filed by the state total 1, 117 cases have been registered in Haryana and 147 arrests has been made so far. In the interim report regarding the alleged rape and molestation during Jat agitation, the Haryana government has said that no rape or molestation incident has been reported by anyone except a Delhi resident in which the FIR has been registered.
The bench headed by Justices SK Mittal and HS Sidhu had directed the Haryana government on 25 February to file a detailed report regarding the property damaged during the rioting that took place during the quota agitation.
Senior advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Anupam Gupta has been appointed amicus curiae in the case.
The court has instructed the Haryana government to file a detail report till March 14 on the amount of public and private property during the rioting.
The Jat quota stir which started in the second week of February turned extremely violent on 19 February, after those agitating torched the house of Haryana finance minister Captain Abhimanyu.
There was massive destruction of private and public properties worth thousands of crores. Members of the Jat community who were protesting for reservation under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category resorted to large-scale rioting.
Reports of rapes and molestation during the agitation near Murthal also started coming in last week. Taking suo motu notice of a news report of "women commuters being ‘violated’ by highway goons", the Punjab and Haryana High Court had asked for the incident to be probe by the “premier investigating agency”.
The Haryana government had constituted a three-member team to gather information on the alleged sexual assault.
The investigating team is being headed by Deputy Inspector-General of Police Rajshree Singh with DSPs Bharti Dabas and Surinder Kaur as members.
On 25 February, providing relief to victims of the agitation, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered that those who suffered sexual harassment, loss of property or failed in getting insurance compensation can approach the Chief Judicial Magistrates their districts for help . The court also ordered setting up of a help desk in every District Legal Services Authority (DLSA)
The division bench of Justices SK Mittal and HS Sidhu had observed that the court had considered the news reports “with regard to sexual assault alleged to have been made by the arsonists/protesters during the recent agitation in the state of Haryana. It has been reported that their complaints have also not been taken care of by the police authorities”.