Haryana denies rapes by rioters; HC takes cognizance


Chandigarh, Feb 24 (IANS) The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday took cognizance of media reports that some women, who were commuting on the Delhi-Ambala highway (NH-1), had been allegedly stripped and raped by rioters during the violent Jat agitation.

The Haryana government and the state police vehemently denied any such incidents.

Taking suo moto notice of the media report, Justice Naresh Kumar Sanghi, said the high court could not sit as a “mute spectator” to the reported incidents and that these needed to be probed by a “premier investigation agency”.

The matter has been referred to the court of the acting Chief Justice for further orders.

As per the report, rioters had stopped cars on the NH-1 in Sonipat district early on Monday to set them on fire.

As the people travelling in these vehicles ran for safety, some women commuters, who could not flee, were pulled out of the vehicles, allegedly stripped and raped in the nearby fields.

The victims were left to fend for themselves and were offered clothes and help by villagers later.

Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) Y.P. Singhal on Wednesday denied any incident of indecent behaviour and rape of women in Sonipat during the recent agitation.

“Investigations conducted by the Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Mr. Devender Singh, and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Paramjit Ahlawat, had found the allegations made in the report false and baseless,” the DGP, while interacting with media persons in Hisar on Wednesday, said.

The DGP said the death toll in the Jat agitation violence had gone up to 28, with 200 people being injured.

“127 persons have so far been arrested for indulging in violence and 535 cases have been registered. I appeal to people not to believe in rumours being spread by anti-social elements,” Singhal said.

The Haryana government also denied media reports that some persons behaved indecently with some women who were travelling in cars near village Kurad in Sonipat district.

“Principal Secretary Mr Devender Singh and Inspector General of Police Mr Paramjit Ahlawat, who visited the spot and interacted with the people including those whose names were mentioned in the media reports, said that no such incident had occurred.” An official spokesman said here.

He said that the former Sarpanch of Kurad, Bijender Singh, has also refuted that any such incident had occurred.

“When some youth broke window panes of a few cars, some women who were seated inside the vehicles were injured. Such families were given shelter by the villagers in their own homes and gave them first aid and food. The media reports to this effect are totally false, misleading and not based on facts,” the spokesman said.