Haryana HC admits to possibility of rapes during Jat agitation

Chandigarh: After denying outright any incidents of rapes during the violent Jat agitation in February this year, the Haryana government on Monday admitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court that there could be a possibility that rapes could have happened then.

The admission by the Haryana government came up during hearing of a case by the high court here on Monday.

Submitting a report by way of an affidavit filed by Inspector General of Police, South Range-cum-incharge, Special Investigation Team (SIT),Mamta Singh, the state police has include section 376-D (rape) of the Indian Penal Code to the FIR No. 118 registered on March 30 this year regarding the incidents at along National Highway No. 1 (NH-1) near Murthal in Haryana’s Sonipat district.

The section (of rape) has been included on the basis of complaint of Delhi resident Bobby Joshi that women were allegedly sexually assaulted by the agitators. The state government said that it had received anonymous letters alleging that the rapes took place.

In February this year, the Haryana government had emphatically told the high court that no such incidents of rape or molestation were reported from Sonipat district during the Jat agitation. The government had submitted a status report in the high court in this regard.

The preliminary status report was submitted following investigations into the mass gang-rape allegations by an all-women SIT constituted by the Haryana government. The SIT report said that no victim of the alleged mass gang rape or molestation had come forward to complain.

The high court, taking suo moto notice of the reports in the media about the mass gang rapes, had asked the Haryana government and police to submit a status report.

It had appointed lawyer Anupam Gupta as amicus curie in the matter.

The high court on Monday also questioned the Manohar Lal Khattar government on the appointment of the Parkash Singh Committee to look into the incidents of violence during the Jat agitation, asking it to clarify its constitutional and legal status.

At least 30 people were killed and over 320 injured in the nine-day long Jat agitation for reservation.