Murthal 'gang rapes': Eyewitnesses claim women were attacked, police says no evidence yet

Sonipat: The mystery over the alleged gang rapes at Murthal during the Jat agitation does not appear to be giving in anytime soon. In a major turn of events contradicting the Haryana police's initial stand
eyewitnesses claim women were attacked police...
India TV News Desk February 27, 2016 23:57 IST

Sonipat: The mystery over the alleged gang rapes at Murthal during the Jat agitation does not appear to be giving in anytime soon. In a major turn of events contradicting the Haryana police's initial stand of having found no evidence to the alleged crimes, three truck drivers today emerged as eyewitnesses claiming that they did see women being dragged and molested by the Jat agitators. 

This comes at a time when a Special Investigation Team of women police officers constituted by the Haryana police and sent to the site of the alleged incident to probe the matter claimed that no eyewitnesses or victims had turned up before it. The team led by DIG Dr Rajshree Singh and comprising DSPs Bharti Dabas and Surinder Kaur visited the site at village Hassanpur near Murthal in Sonipat district on the Delhi-Ambala National Highway to gather first hand information about the alleged incident.

Rajshree Singh maintained that till this evening, no victim or eye witness had come forward to provide details. Asked about recovery of some clothes belonging to women, she told reporters, "These had been sent to Forensic Science Laboratory for examination".

"Let us see, what comes out," she told reporters Rajshree Singh told PTI this evening, "Two truck drivers - one each from Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir - have contacted us."

"But both have denied seen any such thing (alleged rape of women stuck on the National Highway near Murthal)," the DIG said.

She said that both of them told the team that they got stuck between 10-11 AM on that day."Between 1-2 PM their trucks were burnt and during this period both did not see any such thing," the DIG claimed.

 The DIG said that a woman called up to tell the team that she would visit them personally tomorrow. "We are waiting for her to come tomorrow," she added.

Asked about the claims of the three truck drivers about seeing the attack, she said all those people who have any information should come to the police. "Anyone who has concrete proof of the incident, should without any fear approach the team. We will protect them and their identity will not be disclosed," she said.

The three truck drivers -- Sukhwinder Singh, Niranjan and Naresh Kumar -- claimed that the women were dragged out of their vehicles by the agitators who then tore their clothes and molested them, before taking the victims towards the fields.

Singh also claimed that "policemen in plain clothes" were putting pressure on them to remain silent about the incident.

Meanwhile Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar also urged the public to come forward with information on the alleged incidents. “Those people who possess any information (regarding Murthal incident) must come forward and share it with the police. But we do not understand why the information is not being shared with the police by people (if they have),” he said.

"I don't understand why the eye witnesses and the victims are not coming forward. No eyewitness has contacted the police yet, they should inform the police about the incident.

The police team visited Sukhdev 'dhaba', the eatery which was also attacked by the agitators and spoke to a number of people in the area.

Meanwhile, the DIG's mobile number given in the press release issued after presser by DGP Y P Singal last evening has turned out to be wrong and the same belonged to a resident of Indore in Madhya Pradesh. Asked about it, she said that the correct number would be put out.

Haryana Police DGP Y P Singal was not contactable despite repeated attempts. Home Secretary P K Das, when questioned about the gaffe, retorted "ask this question to the DGP."

A resident of Indore has been receiving telephone calls since yesterday after Haryana Police listed his number among the numbers of three officers for receiving information concerning the alleged incident.

When a journalist called up the mobile number given yesterday by Haryana Police DGP Y P Singhal of DIG Rajshree Singh, heading the three-member women police officer's team, it turned out to be of an Indore resident.

"I have lodged a complaint with the local police," the recipient of the call said.

The DGP had yesterday announced constitution of the team headed by the DIG "to gather information concerning the alleged incident of sexual assault on some women near Murthal on the night intervening February 22 and 23."

Singhal had said that these officers would be available in Sonipat till further orders and anyone could provide information concerning the incident to them in the form of audio or video clips or photographs or in any other form.

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(With PTI inputs)

 
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