— Consider reading the article Hathras case: SDM denies claim of India Today that phones of victim’s family were taken away, SIT probe complete, media to be allowed on OpIndia website —
According to Sadar SDM Prem Prakash, the SIT probe in the Hathras case has been concluded and the administration is now allowing the media to go to the village of the victim’s family and speak to them.
“Since SIT probe in the village is complete, the restriction on media has been lifted. More than 5 media persons are now allowed to gather as Section 144 of CrPC is in place”, said the SDM.
Hathras: Media allowed to enter the village of the victim of Hathras case. Sadar SDM Prem Prakash says, “Since SIT probe in the village is complete, the restriction on media has been lifted. More than 5 media persons are now allowed to gather as Section 144 of CrPC is in place.” pic.twitter.com/BGb6F0VAGU
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 3, 2020
Further, the SDM has said, “Only media is allowed right now. When orders come in to allow delegations, we will let everybody know. All allegations about phones of the family members being taken away or confining them in their homes are absolutely baseless”.
Only media is allowed right now. When orders come in to allow delegations, we will let everybody know. All allegations about phones of the family members being taken away or confining them in their homes are absolutely baseless: Hathras Sadar SDM Prem Prakash Meena https://t.co/LE1mi6eZm8
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 3, 2020
The news about the UP administration and the police confiscating the phones of the victim’s family was first spread by the India Today group. Rahul Kanwal had taken to Twitter to ask “tough questions” from the Uttar Pradesh government after an audio of his correspondent coaching the victim’s family had been reported by OpIndia. Several other channels had also reported that the phones of the victim’s family members were taken away by the police.
Right to report freely must be strongly defended by journalists of this generation. Why is Hathras victim’s family being treated like they were the accused? Why have their phones been snatched? Rule of law must prevail in our country. A state cannot be run like a banana republic.
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) October 2, 2020
Interestingly, the allegations of the family’s phone being snatched came right after the media was heard freely talking to the brother of the victim over phone.
A lot of debate and political mudslinging has been happening around the Hathras case since the victim succumbed to her injuries in Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital on Tuesday morning. She was allegedly raped two weeks ago. The case attracted nationwide outrage when some reports claimed Hathras Police forcefully cremated the girl on Tuesday night without consent of the family members. The police had later stated that the victim’s father was present during the cremation.
Speaking to ANI, ADG Prashant Kumar had informed that the forensic reports that were awaited have also been received. ADG stated that the FSL report found no evidence of ‘rape’. He asserted that it was concluded that there was no sexual assault, and the cause of death was strangulation and injury to the spine.
Yesterday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed suspension of the SP, the DSP, the Inspector and some other officials, based on the preliminary investigation report.
The Chief Minister was reportedly not satisfied with the handling of the Hathras case by the administration. A press release issued by the UP govt said that Hathras SP and IPS officer Vikrant Veer has been suspended for carelessness and lax in supervision while working on the case. Similarly, DSP Ram Shabd, inspector Dinesh Verma, sub-inspector Jagveer Singh, and head constable Mahesh Pal have been suspended. Shamli SP Vineet Jaiswal has been posted as the SP of Hathras after the suspensions.
The statement also adds that Narco Polygraph tests of the complainant, accused and the cops involved with the case will also be conducted.