Hathras gangrape: UP Police files FIR for 'attempt to trigger caste conflict'; security for victim's kin tightened, says govt
Meanwhile, in response to demands for security for the victim's family, the Adityanath government claimed that security of her family 'has been tightened'.
As protests continue over the gangrape of a 19-year-old Dalit girl in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras district, the Yogi Adityanath government on Monday filed an FIR against unknown persons for attempting to trigger 'caste-baste conflict'.
The FIR lodged at Chandpa Police Station in Hathras district against unknown people mentioned alleged attempts to foment cast conflict, promote enmity between groups, and tarnish the image of the government. The FIR also invoked section 124A of the Indian Penal Code: which is the serious charge of sedition.
ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar had earlier threatened legal action against those he accused of "twisting the matter to stir caste-based tension."
Meanwhile, in response to demands for security for the victim's family, the Adityanath government claimed that security of her family "has been tightened".
On Sunday, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad had demanded 'Y'-level security for the victim's family.
The case attracted national attention after the victim, who was raped and sustained grievous injuries on 14 September, succumbed in Delhi's Safdarjung hospital on 29 September.
The police cremating the victim's body, allegedly without consent from her family, sparked outrage online and in the press and spurred protests across the country from activists, Opposition parties and Dalit leaders.
'Security of Hathras victim's family tightened'
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi was on Monday quoted by PTI as saying that security personnel have been deployed in the victim's village.
"Security has been tightened around the victim's house in Hathras and her family members have also been provided security," he said.
Hathras Police also said that 12-15 Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel have been deployed in the village for "24-hour security" of the family, adding that two security men have been deployed for the brother.
Elaborate security has been ensured to prevent any tension in the area, they were quoted as saying by the report. Besides constables, three SHOs, a deputy SP-rank officer have been deployed.
Women policemen have also been deployed for round-the-clock security in the village, besides magistrates are also there to to keep an eye on the situation, the police said.
UP Police claims 'conspiracy' to defame govt
On Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh Police filed at least 19 FIRs across the state on charges ranging from attempts to trigger caste conflict to sedition, as per reports. Eighteen other sections of the Indian Penal Code and one under the IT Act were also listed in the FIR on Sunday afternoon.
In Lucknow on Monday, state's Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said there are FIRs registered on similar lines in other Uttar Pradesh districts as well, PTI reported.
Besides six cases at different police stations in Hathras, 13 more FIRs have been filed in Bijnor, Saharanpur, Bulandshahar, Allahabad, Ayodhya and Lucknow for vitiating the atmosphere, the report quoted police officials as saying.
The FIRs also deal with matter posted on social media. As per Indian Express, police sources claimed a website 'justiceforhathrasvictim.carrd.co' "... which had information on how to protest safely and avoid the police, has been linked to the conspiracy".
"The site has been taken down and is currently unavailable. It also listed dos and don’ts on how to stay safe during riots and in situations when police fire tear gas, sources said. Most of the content has been lifted from literature being shared online by Black Lives Matters protesters in the United States of America," the report police quoted sources as saying.
The police's FIR on Sunday invoked 19 charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), PTI reported. The IPC sections include 124A (sedition), 505 (intending to cause public alarm and inducing someone to commit offence against state or public tranquility), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups).
The police have also invoked section 67 (transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the IT Act, according to the FIR. PTI quoted a police officer as saying that the Uttar Pradesh government's statements and facts related to the Hathras case "are being forged, manipulated and circulated through social media".
"Misleading content is being shared with forged logos of media houses," the statement added. "Some accused are circulating material that could trigger caste-based conflict and these are serious offences considering the current situation in the region," the officer said, adding the investigation is underway.
The report added that the Hathras Police has so far registered around a dozen complaints under the IT Act with respect to the case and they are being probed by the Cyber Cell.
On Monday, Yogi Adityanath also alleged that "some anarchists" were out to "create communal frenzy" and caste violence as they were not liking the the progress made by the country under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to a press note issued by the BJP, the chief minister said that some of the recent incidents have exposed the conspiracy of such elements in this regard.
Exhorting BJP workers to give a befitting reply to them through development oriented efforts, the chief minister said under Modi's guidance, the central government is working towards building a self-reliant and strong India.
The chief minister participated in a virtual dialogue with the booth and sector in-charges of Tundla reserved Assembly constituency in connection with the upcoming by elections.
'Under house arrest'
Sumaiyya Rana, daughter of poet Munawwar Rana's daughter on Monday claimed that she has been put under house arrest after she tried to put up posters against the gang-rape, PTI reported.
"The chief minister had directed to put up posters of those involved in crime against women at public places. I have some posters on Hathras incident. These posters are to be put near Clock Tower and other areas but police put me under house arrest on Sunday," Sumaiyya Rana told PTI.
"On Sunday, from 7 pm till 2.30 am, police force was deputed outside my apartment and I was stopped from coming out. On Monday also, some policemen were deployed and they were directed that I should not move out (of the residence)," she claimed.
When contacted, Kaiserbagh SHO Dinanath Mishra denied the allegation, saying she was "going to participate in a procession and she was asked to not do so without permission."
Rana, who actively participated in anti-CAA protests in Lucknow and was also named in a related FIR, said, "Had the activeness shown by police to house arrest me been shown in other cases, crimes against women would not have happened."
FIR against 500 Congress workers for 3 Oct scuffle
The Gautam Buddh Nagar Police has filed an FIR against over 500 Congress workers, charging them with unlawful assembly two days ago at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Noida amid the COVID-19 outbreak, PTI reported.
The FIR has been registered against Congress' Gautam Buddh Nagar unit president Manoj Chaudhary, Noida unit chief Shahabuddin and 500 unnamed party workers, the police officials said.
Hundreds of Congress workers and leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were on their way to Hathras on Saturday afternoon to meet the victim's family.
There were scuffles involving Congress workers and the Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida) Police at the DND toll plaza during which police personnel had baton charged the crowd. Some party leaders, including Priyanka, were manhandled, while some policemen were also hurt.
According to the FIR lodged a little earlier before midnight on 3 October, the Congress workers have been booked under IPC sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (unlawfully or negligently spreading infection of any disease dangerous to life), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and under section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act.
The FIR has been lodged on a complaint by Rakesh Kumar Singh, the SHO of the Sector 20 police station.
On 2 October also, the Gautam Buddh Nagar Police had lodged an FIR against around 200 Congress workers and leaders, including Rahul and Priyanka, under the Epidemic Diseases Act for not maintaining social distancing and not wearing face masks.
The party workers were detained while they were on foot on the Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida in a bid to go to Hathras. Gautam Buddh Nagar is currently under CrPC section 144, which restricts assembly of more than four people, in view of the pandemic.
Congress reiterates demand for judicial probe
Stepping up its attack on the Adityanath government over the Hathras case, the Congress demanded the dismissal of the Hathras district magistrate for allegedly threatening the victim's family and asked why the SIT was continuing with its probe when a CBI investigation has been sought by the Uttar Pradesh government.
The Congress also asked why a judicial probe should not be held to ascertain whether the body allegedly burnt by the cops in the middle of the night is of the 19-year-old victim.
"The Yogi Adityanath government must immediately dismiss the DM, who is on record, on a video threatening the family and he should not be given any other position till it is thoroughly investigated that at whose instructions and whose behest did the DM go to the victim's family and threatened them in the manner that he did," Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said.
On Sunday, the Congress had demanded that the DM be suspended.
Dev also said the family is demanding a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court and questioned why such a probe is not being ordered.
"It is crystal clear that from the date the young, helpless girl was raped, that all institutions within the state of UP, whether it is the SIT with senior officers are in cahoots to hush up this matter.
"It is shocking that an SIT was set up after 14 days and after the media and the opposition leaders, specifically Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi met the victim's family in Hathras, as damage control they ordered a CBI inquiry," she told reporters.
She said an important question that arises is that even though a CBI inquiry has been instituted, the Central agency has not visited the village.
"The SIT inquiry is still continuing on the ground," she alleged.
The Congress leader said it is "heart-breaking" that when the family of the victim is alleging that after the tragic incident of not allowing the family members to go through proper rituals at cremation service, they are now asking proof that the body that was hurriedly cremated was that the body of their daughter.
"In the name of humanity, the family has demanded that if the body was of their daughter then they should be allowed to take the ashes for a dignified ritual, which is part of their custom and their culture.
"We want to ask the Adityanath government that which of these demands is unjustified by the family? Should the DM not be dismissed and investigated? Should there not be a judicial inquiry? Why is the SIT still on the ground, when you have yourself ordered a CBI inquiry," she said.
Dev asked what is it that the Adityanath government is hiding and asked why a judicial inquiry should not happen in this case.
Protests continue unabated
While Congress units in several states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Chandigarh held protests against the assault on Monday, activists of Left-affiliated parties burnt the effigies of Adityanath at Delhi's Jantar Mantar.
The activists were also joined by Dalit and women's organisations who protested against the "injustice" meted out to the family of the Hathras victim. They also demanded Adityanath's resignation for "mishandling" the case.
This comes days after a massive protest in the city where hundreds of protesters had gathered to demand the chief minister's resignation.
The earlier protest had seen the participation of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPM leaders Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, Bollywood actor Swara Bhaskar among others.
On Monday , the protesters, wearing masks, gathered at Jantar Mantar holding placards that read "End rape culture," "Dalit lives matter", "Educate Organise Agitate" among others.
The protesters from organisations such as the All India Students' Association, All India Progressive Women's Association, Bhim Army and All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) raised slogans slamming UP Police and demanding justice for the 19-year-old woman, who was allegedly raped and killed by four upper-caste men.
Sucheta De from the Left-affiliated All India Students' Association (AISA) said, "We will be holding the protests every day till the Yogi Adityanath government is there. He has to resign. The state machinery is being used to intimidate the family of the victim."
Kawalpreet Kaur, the president of Delhi unit of AISA, said they want a judicial enquiry of the case.
"Justice should also be seen as done and in this case, from the beginning when they did not register an FIR, it only shows that they don't want to ensure justice. They just want to ensure that the upper caste accused are protected. "Now the chief minister is alleging there is an international conspiracy to it. That is absurd," she said.
Kavita Krishnan, the secretary of All India Progressive Women's Association, said it is important to recognise caste-based oppression and said the protest was a way to create mass awakening against caste.
"It is important to have an anti-caste movement. The way the Yogi government is behaving by burning evidence, burning woman's body, subjecting it to indignity, surrounding the whole village and not allowing anti-rape protest but allowing pro-rape protest, we demand the resignation of Yogi Adityanath," she said.
CPM, CPI to visit victim's family tomorrow
A joint delegation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) will visit Hathras in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday to meet the family members of the victim.
The delegation will comprise of CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D Raja, CPM politburo member Brinda Karat, CPI national secretary Amarjeet Kaur, Uttar Pradesh CPM secretary Hiralal Yadav, and Uttar Pradesh CPI secretary Girish Sharma.
Earlier, a team comprising leaders of Agricultural Workers Union, Kisan ttSabha, CITU and Janwadi Mahila Samiti had met the family of the victim.
Retired judge moves SC
A retired judge moved the Supreme Court seeking an investigation into the role of police officials and registration of FIRs against them in connection with the rape case.
The PIL filed by ex-judicial officer Chandra Bhan Singh alleged that "callousness and highhandedness" of the state administration and police officials in giving treatment to the victim led to her death and sought a probe by any agency other than affiliated to Uttar Pradesh government.
DMK's Kanimozhi detained during protest
The DMK women's wing took out a candle light march in Chennai on Monday, with its secretary Kanimozhi demanding justice for the victim.
Kanimozhi, who led the march titled "Save our daughters", and others, including some DMK men, were detained when they attempted to breach police barricades and proceed towards the Raj Bhavan, PTI reported.
The Tuticorin MP alleged the BJP government did not appear to be concerned over women's safety, in so much as it was keen on protecting the cows.
"A cruel rape has happened in Uttar Pradesh... a girl was brutally raped and done to death. But, the UP government is trying to suppress the rape incident. Since BJP government has come to power, crimes against women have been on the rise," she charged.
Earlier, addressing the protesters, party chief MK Stalin claimed justice had been denied to the victim and her family.
With inputs from PTI
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