CHANDIGARH: Haryana Police have added gang rape charges to the FIR in the infamous Murthal case in which women are believed to have been raped during the Jat quota stir violence. The charges have been added after three women have stated that they were raped in Murthal near Delhi during the peak of the violence in February.
Of the three, two women sent anonymous letters with details of the rapes that took place between February 21 and 22. Senior lawyer Anupam Gupta, who is assisting the Punjab and Haryana high court as amicus curiae in the case, has said that he has an audio recording of the third girl from East Delhi. He has, however, not shared the evidence with the court for now.
One letter, sent by an Australian NRI, has been circulating on social media. The other, received by the Farida bad police, is from a girl living in a hostel who was allegedly raped while crossing NH-1.
This is the first time the cops have admitted to the seriousness of the alleged crimes committed at Murthal. Mamta Singh, IGP (south range) and special investigation team head, submitted a status report before the Punjab and Haryana HC on Monday saying Section 376 (D) (gang rape) of the IPC has been added to the existing FIR. The initial FIR of molestation was registered on March 30 on a complaint by Delhi resident Bobby Joshi who was at Murthal during the time the rapes are believed to have taken place. The high court had taken suo motu cognisance of newspaper reports which said that at least 10 women were raped at the spot that day.
The NRI survivor's letter is already viral on social media, where she mentions that she had reached the Delhi airport from Australia on February 21 and was travelling on NH 1 when she was allegedly raped. The police have requested a foreign regional registration officer in Delhi to provide details of NRIs arriving from Australia during that time.
The other survivor had posted an anonymous letter from Mathura Road in Faridabad on March 5. Police officials are examining call records of the area to identify a number that may be common with the travellers who were at Murthal on February 21 and 22. The Faridabad survivor has stated that she is a final-year student of a degree course and was on way to her home with her father on the day she was raped.
Adjourning the hearing for May 4, the court has asked for May 4, the court has asked the SIT to submit a status report on the probes. A bench headed by Justice S S Saron also clarified that the SIT would work independently.
Gupta on Monday turned down the SIT's request to share video and audio tapes related to the alleged rapes for the time being. "Their (police's) move is from complete denial to acknowledgement. I don't have much faith in Haryana police and there is danger of subversion of justice," he said.
In her report, SIT head and IPS officer Mamta Singh has stated that 161 travelers who were in Murthal on the day have been identified.