Hapur lynching: SC issues notice to Uttar Pradesh government, asks to consider victim's security concerns

The apex court directed the Meerut IGP to file a report in the case in which one person was killed and another brutally assaulted by a mob on the pretext they were involved in cow-slaughter.

Published: 13th August 2018 02:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2018 11:08 PM   |  A+A-

Mob Lynching

Image used for representational purpose only. (File photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today directed a senior Uttar Pradesh police officer to probe the Hapur lynching case in which one person was killed and another brutally assaulted in the name of cow vigilantism, while terming the allegations of the survivor as "serious".

It sought a response from the Uttar Pradesh government on the matter and directed Meerut's Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate the incident and file a report in two weeks.

Terming as "serious" the allegations of Samiuddin, the survivor of the alleged mob attack, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the IGP to "facilitate the recording" of victim's statement before a judicial magistrate regarding the incident in which 45-year-old Qasim Qureishi was beaten to death at Hapur on June 18.

"In the meantime, the IGP, Meerut (Range) shall submit a report with regard to the incident in question. We have so directed keeping in view the serious allegations/ assertions made in the writ petition," the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

It took note of the submission of senior advocate K V Vishwanathan, representing petitioners Samiuddin, his brother Yaseen and Dinesh Tomar, that they were living in a state of fear as the police had forced them to register a case of road rage instead of mob lynching.

"In addition to what we have stated, if the petitioners do harbour a feeling of sense of insecurity, they shall bring it to the notice of the Superintendent of Police, Hapur, who shall provide them adequate security and do the needful so that they do not remain in a state of fear," it said.

It asked lawyer Vrinda Grover, the counsel for the three petitioners, to serve a copy of the petition to the additional advocate general of Uttar Pradesh government and listed the plea for further hearing on August 28.

The plea has sought setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to ensure "an impartial, competent and fair investigation" into "the barbaric incident of mob lynching on June 18 in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh, wherein Samiuddin (the Petitioner No.1) and Qasim, both belonging to the minority community, were targeted and mercilessly assaulted by a mob of the majority community from the neighbouring village, in the name of cow vigilantism.

Besides the state government, the court has also issued notices to the IGP, Additional Director General of Police and Superintendent of Police of Hapur district.

The plea has sought "setting up a SIT comprising of police officers with impeccable career records of integrity and competence from outside the state of Uttar Pradesh, which shall be charged with the responsibilities and duties of investigation, in respect of all issues relating to the matters concerning and arising from the incident".

It has sought a direction that the SIT "shall report to and be responsible to this court through the filing of periodic status reports and shall also keep this court informed of any major developments".

It also sought a direction to UP authorities to lodge a fresh FIR on the basis of statements made by Samiuddin with regard to the nature of the incident that had taken place on June 18 that had led to the "gruesome killing of Qasim" and the attempt to murder the surviving victim.

The victim, in his plea, has sought a test identification parade to ascertain the identity of the culprits by the SIT.

"Issue a writ or direction to the state to take all necessary steps and measures in pursuit of cancellation of bail granted to the accused by the sessions court, holding that the orders granting bail to the accused by the Sessions Court were prima facie obtained on the basis of gross misrepresentation of facts," it said.

The plea has sought a direction to the SIT to complete the probe into facts and offences relating to the incident within three months and the state government to initiate time-bound criminal and departmental proceedings against the errant police officers for changing the nature of the offence.

Besides seeking appointment of a counsel of "integrity and professional competence" as special prosecutor to conduct the trial in the case, it has sought a day-to-day trial in the matter.

The plea has also sought a direction to the state government to compensate the victim for his medical treatment.

It said Qasim had died as a consequence of the lethal mob lynching, while Samiuddin survived the attempt on his life but suffered multiple fractures, wounds and egregious injuries.

It said Yaseen and Dinesh Tomar, brother and a family friend, were subjected to "grave threat and coercion" by Circle Officer Pawan Kumar Singh of Pilkhuwa Police Station for lodging a false complaint of road rage instead of mob lynching.

It has also sought cancellation of bail granted to the accused, including alleged key offender Yudhishthir Singh Sisodia.

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