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SC Directs IGP of Meerut to Supervise Probe in Hapur Lynching Case

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the Uttar Pradesh police to follow the guidelines it issued in a recent judgement on mob lynching and asked the Inspector General of Police to personally supervise the probe in the matter.

PTI

Updated:September 5, 2018, 8:30 PM IST
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SC Directs IGP of Meerut to Supervise Probe in Hapur Lynching Case
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed a top police officer of the Meerut range in Uttar Pradesh to supervise the ongoing probe in the Hapur lynching case in which one person was killed and another brutally assaulted allegedly in the name of protecting cows.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the Uttar Pradesh police to follow the guidelines it issued in a recent judgement on mob lynching and asked the Inspector General of Police to personally supervise the probe in the matter.

Samiuddin and 45-year-old Qasim Qureishi were assaulted at Hapur on June 18 by a mob allegedly by cow vigilantes. While Samiuddin survived, Qureishi succumbed to his injuries.

"It is directed that the investigation shall be carried out under the supervision of the IGP of Meerut range," the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

At the outset, Aishwarya Bhati, Additional Advocate General of UP, informed the court that the state government had taken swift and instant action in the matter by ordering the transfer of the SHO concerned and appeals have also been filed challenging the bail granted to the accused in the case.

She said currently the probe was being conducted by the SHO of Pilkhuwa Police Station of Hapur district under the supervision of the Superintendent of Police and would be completed in 60 days.

Lawyer Vrinda Grover, representing victim Samiuddin, said a false FIR of road rage, instead of mob lynching, was registered by the police and sought transfer of the probe from state police to a Special Investigating Team.

She alleged that Samiuddin was the survivor of the incident but his statement was not recorded at the time of filing of the FIR.

The bench, which perused the report filed by the police in a sealed cover over the probe in the case, fixed the plea for hearing after two weeks.

The apex court, on August 13, had termed as "serious" the allegations of the alleged victim of mob violence and directed Meerut's Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate the incident and file a report.

It had also directed the IGP to "facilitate the recording" of the victim's statement before a judicial magistrate regarding the incident in which 45-year-old Qasim Qureishi was beaten to death at Hapur on June 18.

Besides Samiuddin, the plea was filed by his brother Yaseen and family friend Dinesh Tomar, alleging that they were living in a state of fear as the police had forced them to register a case of road rage, instead of mob lynching.

The bench had directed the police to provide "adequate security" to the three petitioners so that "they do not remain in a state of fear".

The plea has sought setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to ensure "an impartial, competent and fair investigation" into "the barbaric incident of mob lynching

on June 18 in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh, wherein Samiuddin (the Petitioner No. 1) and Qasim, both belonging to the minority community, were targeted and mercilessly assaulted by a mob of the majority community from the neighbouring village, in the name of cow vigilantism."

The plea has sought "setting up a SIT comprising of police officers with impeccable career records of integrity and competence from outside the state of Uttar Pradesh, which shall be charged with the responsibilities and duties of investigation, in respect of all issues relating to the matters concerning and arising from the incident".

It has sought a direction that the SIT "shall report to and be responsible to this court through the filing of periodic status reports and shall also keep this court informed of any major developments".

It also sought a direction to the UP authorities to lodge a fresh FIR on the basis of statements made by Samiuddin regarding the nature of incident that had taken place on June 18 that had led to the "gruesome killing of Qasim" and the attempt to murder the surviving victim.

The victim, in his plea, has sought a test identification parade to ascertain the identity of the culprits by the SIT.

"Issue a writ ...or direction to the state to take all necessary steps and measures in pursuit of cancellation of bail granted to the accused by the sessions court, holding that the orders granting bail to the accused by the Sessions Court were prima facie obtained on the basis of gross misrepresentation of facts," it said.

The plea has sought a direction to the SIT to complete the probe into facts and offences relating to the incident within three months and the state government to initiate time-bound criminal and departmental proceedings. It has sought a day-to-day trial in the matter.

The plea has also sought a direction to the state government to compensate the victim for his medical treatment.
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