While the opposition is cornering the ruling BJP government in UP over the gang-rape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras, the three-member special investigation team (SIT), which was set up to probe the incident has been given an additional 10 days by the government to submit their findings. The SIT was supposed to submit its report on Wednesday.
Initial findings of the SIT found the Hathras SP and four other police officers lackadaisical in handling the case, following which the Yogi Adityanath government ordered their suspension. The SIT, headed by Uttar Pradesh home secretary Bhagwan Swaroop, also advised the use of lie-detector tests for all the accused including the family members of the victim.
The other two members of the SIT include Deputy inspector general of police Chandraprakash and IPS officer Poonam.
As the nationwide protest has flared up, the UP government took some ‘damage-control measures’ and relaxed the restrictions. On Tuesday, the SIT team visited the village to investigate the location where the woman was cremated.
The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has asked the Supreme Court to order a court-monitored CBI investigation into the case. The government that has come under sharp criticism has also said the midnight cremation was done to avoid the anticipated large-scale violence in the aftermath the next morning.
The affidavit, the state government filed before the Supreme Court read: “The district administration took the decision to convince the parents of the victim to cremate her with all religious rites at night to avoid large scale violence in the morning. Once the post mortem of the deceased victim was already conducted at Safdarjung hospital, New Delhi, there cannot be any bad intention on the part of anyone to expedite the cremation except to obviate the political violent situation resulting from the planned caste divide by certain vested interests.”