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Hathras Family May Appear Virtually Before Court

Lucknow:   Members of the family of the Hathras victim may appear in persons before the High Court or via video conferencing on Monday.

A court official who spoke to IANS on Monday morning, said that the final decision in this regard will be taken later in the day by the judges.

“The court is not holding physical hearing due to Covid-19 pandemic but an exception could be made this case. The case has been listed before the division bench of Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Rajan Roy at 2.15 p.m,” the official said.

The five members of the family left Hathras for Lucknow, early on Monday morning, amidst tight security. They were earlier scheduled to travel to Lucknow on Sunday night but the family apparently refused to travel at night due to security reasons.

The family was accompanied by security personnel, officials and a large number of media persons who travelled with the convoy.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2.15 p.m.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court, which had taken suo moto cognizance of the Hathras incident on October 1, has summoned the victim’s family as well as top concerned officials, including the suspended Hathras SP Vikrant Veer, to record their statements regarding the incident.

The court has also summoned additional chief secretary, home, Avanish Awasthi, the DGP HC Awasthi, ADG law and order Prashant Kumar and district officials of Hathras to furnish the status report of the investigation.

The hasty cremation of the victim, done in the dead of the night without the family’s presence, will be a major issue on which the court will seek answers from officials.

The HC had expressed serious concern over the manner of victim’s cremation by the police in the wee hours. It had held that under Article 25 of the Constitution, the victim should have been cremated as per her religion and by her family members.

The state government will be represented by additional advocate general VK Shahi.

It may be recalled that a 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper caste men on September 14, leading to her death later on September 29. The incident has led to national outrage.

The case was over the CBI for investigation after the family questioned the role Hathras police.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the government has already been probing the incident and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over investigations from Sunday.

Meanwhile, DIG Shalabh Mathur has been sent to Hathras from Lucknow as a nodal officer. He has said that if needed a control room would also be established in Hathras.

To ensure the security of the victim’s family in Hathras, sixty security personnel have been deployed and eight close circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed at their house.

(IANS)

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