NEW DELHI — The Uttar Pradesh government has told the Supreme Court that the Hathras gang rape-murder victim was cremated in the night due to 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 state government also urged the apex court to direct for a CBI probe into case, claiming that “vested interests” were attempting to ascribe motives to vitiate a fair probe.
The state emphasised that “there cannot be any bad intention on part of anyone to expedite the cremation, except to obviate the potential violent situation resulting from a caste divide planned (on the issue) by certain vested interests”.
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 September 29 at a Delhi hospital — at 2.30 am on September 30 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 September 29 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 September 29 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.