SC notice on plea seeking probe into rapes in Muzaffarnagar

New Delhi, Jan 17: The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the central and Uttar Pradesh governments on a petition seeking setting up of a special investigating team of officers from outside the state to investigate seven rapes that took place during the Muzaffarnagar riots in September.

A bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice after counsel Kamini Jaiswal urged the court to direct the setting up of an SIT of police officers from outside Uttar Pradesh and to be headed by a woman police officer to investigate the cases of gang rape, assault, arson, looting and other offences committed on the petitioners during the riots.

The petition said such an investigation should be monitored by the apex court to ensure that no extraneous reasons interfere with or influence the probe.

Appearing for the petitioners, counsel Kamini Jaiswal told the court that though police have registered six rape cases, no arrest has been made so far.

Jaiswal told the court that the rape victims have not been properly examined medically.

Seven rapes were reported during the riots – six from Fugana village and one from Lokha village. In one case, police were yet to register a first information report.

The notice are returnable in four weeks.

The petitioners also sought directions to Uttar Pradesh Police to immediately arrest the accused people named by the victim petitioners who were gang raped and assaulted during the riots.

The petitioners said they were still being threatened, intimidated and pressurised.

They also sought direction to Uttar Pradesh Police to lodge FIR on the basis of a written complaint by the petitioner No.7.

Besides this, the petitioners also made seven prayers seeking various directions to the Uttar Pradesh government for the relocation of families outside the state and witness protection.

All the seven petitioners are women from the minority community, who were allegedly gang raped and sexually assaulted during the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and adjacent districts by men belonging to the other community.