Even as protests raged on over the alleged gangrape and death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking an investigation into the role of police officials while an FIR was registered against Bhim Army chief Chandrashekar Azad and 400 others for violating Section 144 of CrPC and the Epidemic Diseases Act while visiting the village of the victim on Sunday.
The Bhim Army chief and his supporters had created a law and order situation as they tried to enter the village on Sunday, police said. Azad has demanded a time bound inquiry by a retired judge of the Supreme Court into the Hathras incident and also sought protection for the kin of the deceased.
“Police told Azad and his supporters that due to the Epidemic Diseases Act and implementation of Section 144 in the area, a large gathering was likely to facilitate the spread of coronavirus. The police told them that the movement of ambulances and emergency service would be impacted with the gathering. But the supporters sat on the roads despite orders near Sasni Police Station,” the FIR read.
The case was registered under Sections 147 (rioting), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 188 (violation of public order), 269 (actions spreading disease) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act.
A similar FIR was also registered against over 500 Congress workers for their protest at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Noida last week even as senior party leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury questioned the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Hathras incident.
“Modi Ji used to remain vocal in each and every issue from Local to Global but still remains mute on the heart- wrenching incident of Hathras, What is happened to u (you) Modi Ji? Where is your ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikash Sabka Viswash?’ Hypocrisy has been exposed after Hathras,” Chowdhury tweeted.
Ink thrown on AAP leader Sanjay Singh in Hathras
Meanwhile, ink was thrown on Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh on Monday by an unidentified man in Hathras after he visited the victim’s family. In a video of the incident, the man is seen throwing ink at Singh who was about to speak to mediapersons from TV news channels. Singh was immediately rushed to the safety of his car while the attacker, who was chanting slogan –– ‘PFI dalal wapas jao’ –– while throwing ink, was overpowered and nabbed on the spot.
— Amil Bhatnagar (@AmilwithanL) October 5, 2020
The Popular Front of India (PFI), an alleged radical group, has been accused of funding a few protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act that broke out across the country earlier this year. The UP Police had earlier sought a ban on the organisation.
In fresh FIR, police claims ‘international plot’ to defame Yogi govt
The Uttar Pradesh Police claimed they have uncovered an “international plot” to instigate riots along caste lines and defame the Yogi Adityanath government over the alleged gangrape case. On Sunday, an FIR was registered against unidentified persons at the Chandpa Police Station in Hathras under several stringent sections of the IPC, including sedition.
According to sources, 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, they added.
The FIR was registered under sections 109 (abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 124A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and four of its sub-sections, 153 B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the IPC.
Among other sections include fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of offence punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment, threatening any person to give false evidence, forgery, forgery for purpose of harming reputation and printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory. Sections of the Information Technology (IT) Act have also been invoked.
This comes after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath cautioned BJP workers of “conspiracies” against his government and asked them to “expose those who want to incite caste and communal riots” in the country and the state.
Cong seeks dismissal of Hathras district magistrate
The Congress on Monday demanded the dismissal of the Hathras district magistrate for allegedly threatening the victim’s family and asked why the SIT was continuing with its investigation when a CBI probe had been sought by the Uttar Pradesh government, PTI reported.
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 was of the victim itself.
“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.
— ANI (@ANI) October 5, 2020
“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 also said that an important question that arises is that even though a CBI inquiry has been instituted, the central agency has not visited Hathras.
Throughout the day, the Congress staged a silent protest in the district headquarters of states across the country to demand justice for the victim. “The Hathras incident was unfortunate and a blot on humanity. The Uttar Pradesh governments behaviour in this case has been suspicious,” Maharashta Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat told reporters in Mumbai.
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