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Hapur lynching: SC asks victim’s kin to file statement in trial court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the brothers of a cattle trader who was lynched in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur in June last year to place their additional statements before the trial court for its consideration.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose said: “The order that would be appropriate to be passed, at this stage, would be to permit the petitioners to draw the attention of the learned trial Judge to the aforesaid statements of the brothers of the deceased recorded under Section 164 CrPC.

“The petitioners may act accordingly, where after appropriate orders will be passed by the learned trial court.”

However, the court refused to direct the Uttar Pradesh Police to file any supplementary charge sheet in the matter as sought by Samiuddin, a survivor of the attack, who submitted before the court that the investigation did not appear satisfactory and was apparently not going in the right direction.

Samiuddin sought further investigation with respect to the statements made by Saleem and Nadeem, two brothers of the victim Qasim, recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code before Chief Judicial Magistrate of Hapur on May 15.

On the other hand, the Uttar Pradesh Police, in its latest affidavit filed in response to Samiuddin’s plea, said it could not connect the 2018 Hapur lynching case to a religious angle or find trail of any conspiracy.

“The incident had not occasioned on the basis of religious feelings, no evidence indicating the same has so far been brought on record either by way of oral evidence or be means of documentary evidence,” the affidavit said.

The police have also denied any conspiracy behind the lynching. “The fact of common intention or that of hatching a conspiracy is not reflected even in the FIR. No facts could be revealed to point out the issue of common intention or conspiracy during the course of investigation.”

To Samiuddin’s demand for inclusion of a police officer from a different state in the SIT, the police stated that the officers conducting the probe are competent. “It is assured that no slackness/carelessness had been shown by the officers involved in the investigation,” the police said in the affidavit.

Rejecting all the accusations with regards to the distortion of the investigation, they, instead, blamed Samiuddin for “twisting the facts”.

Regarding the bail of the accused, the police said it had no role play in it as the matter was at the discretion of the trial court. The police also informed the court that it had closed the departmental inquiry against the Circle Officer and two Inspectors concerned, as there no evidence to prove their delinquency in handling the incident.

In June last year, 38-year-old Qasim was killed and 65-year-old Samiuddin was severely injured in Hapur after a group of people attacked them on the suspicion of being involved in cow slaughter. In September last year, the top court had said that the investigation should be supervised by Meerut’s Inspector General of Police.

On May 2, the Uttar Pradesh Police filed a status report on the investigation carried out in the matter on a petition filed by Samiuddin seeking a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for an “impartial” investigation.

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