The Uttar Pradesh government, which has been receiving massive backlash over its handling of a Dalit girl's rape and murder case in Hathras, told the Supreme Court that the body of the victim was cremated to prevent any law and order situation in the region.
Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath's government filed an affidavit in the SC on Monday (5 October) and said the hurried move was taken to avoid violence, Hindustan Times reported.
The government said it had intelligence inputs that lakhs of people from the communities of both the woman and the accused along with political workers would assemble at her village, which could lead to a major law and order problem.
“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 Safdurjung 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 planned caste divide by certain vested interests,” the affidavit said.
The state government also urged the apex court to direct for a court-monitored CBI probe into case, claiming that "vested interests" were attempting to ascribe motives to vitiate a fair probe.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde was scheduled to hear a PIL on Tuesday for a CBI or SIT probe into the Hathras case. The matter was likely to be taken up after 12 pm.
The state's affidavit was filed in the court even before it could take up the matter and seek a response from it.
In its affidavit, the state justified the cremation of the victim -- who had died on 29 September at a Delhi hospital -- at 2:30am on 30 September as there was the "likelihood that the protesters could have turned violent".
"There was a high alert in the district due to the pronouncement of the Babri Masjid demolition case verdict too," said the government affidavit.
It said the Hathras district administration had received several intelligence inputs since 29 September morning on the manner in which a dharna was held at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi and that "the whole issue was being exploited and a caste and communal colour was being given to it".
"In such extraordinary and severe circumstances, the district administration took the decision to convince her parents to cremate the body with all religious rites in the night to avoid large-scale violence in the morning... the body of the victim was lying for more than 20 hours after her death and post-mortem," the affidavit added.
The Uttar Pradesh Police allegedly took away the 19-year-old victim's body from the Delhi hospital on 29 September and drove to her Bulgarhi village in Hathras. The bereaved family urged officials to allow it to take the body home one last time and even tried to stop the ambulance carrying the body. However, the family alleged, they were locked in their home during the funeral.
(With inputs from IANS)
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