CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday asserted that gang-rapes had undoubtedly taken place in Murthal during the Jat quota agitation. The court, meanwhile, pulled up the Haryana Government for seeking more time to ‘collect more facts’ in the case.
The state counsel, however, admitted during the hearing that rapes had taken place during the Jat quota agitation in Murthal.
The Court also directed the government to produce Part II of the Prakash Committee report during the next hearing. The Haryana Government claimed before the court that it had got fresh leads in the case.
As the case came up for hearing, the division bench of Justice S S Saron and Justice Lisa Gill, the Bench observed, “Earlier there was reluctance on your part to even register an FIR. But now you have accepted that rape had taken place.’’ “Let’s not deviate from the main path, which is identification of the victim and ensuring justice. This time, things had gone too far. We want result,’’ the Bench said.
The Division Bench observed in the open court, “There can be no doubt (of rape). Even they (Haryana) are not denying it.”
This assertion came after Additional solicitor general, Tushar Mehta told the high court that at this stage, it could not be said as to which way the investigation would lead to, but some leads were there. Hence, State be given more time, which was granted by the court.
Amicus curiae Anupam Gupta had claimed that he had information on the “rape” of two relatives of a Punjab Raj Bhawan employee during the Jat stir.
Murthal, located near Kamaspur chowk on the National Highway-1, has witnessed some of the worst arson, violence and blockades during the nine-day long Jat demand for reservations. Groups of demonstrators had chopped down eucalyptus and sal trees that line NH1 to stop the traffic between Punjab, Haryana, Uttarkhand, Himachal and the National Capital Region.
Many of these demonstrators assembled at Kamaspur chowk to halt traffic moving between these states. Even as Jat leaders had accepted the Centre’s assurance on reservation for the Jats, a major flare-up occurred at Murthal in the early hours of February 22 with gangs of armed men on motorcycles launching a major arson attack, torching cars and trucks and burning down restaurants and hotels.
It was during this attack that a number of women are reported to have been sexually assaulted, with their clothes being stripped and being subjected to rape.