Haryana police on Friday claimed they could not confirm the alleged mass rape of women near National Highway 1 in Murthal on Monday during the Jat quota agitation. Instead, they appealed to the media for help in finding the alleged perpetrators.
"We can't confirm the incident," Haryana DGP YP Singhal told a room full of journalists Friday afternoon in Chandigarh. "We will take action if there is a complaint."
The police chief claimed that the alleged incident was investigated but that "no concrete evidence" could be found. This is despite media reports showing that women's undergarments and clothes were strewn all around the field where more than 10 women are alleged to have been raped. Police confirmed that they have recovered the clothes from the site but insisted that no complaint has been received.
Haryana Police Helpline Numbers:
Dr. Rajshree Singh-9729995000
DSP Bharati Dabas-8053882302
DSP Surender Kaur-9729990760
The police also claimed that they have reached out to the journalists who interviewed eyewitnesses and reported on the story. They released helpline numbers and have appealed to people to come forward with any information they have on the incident.
"I request the journalists to give us specific information," said Singhal "and I assure to investigate the matter with readiness."
Jat protestors in Haryana vandalise public and private property.
The Haryana government had earlier denied that the incident had taken place after Principal Secretary Devender Singh and Inspector General of Police Paramjit Ahlawat visited the alleged site of the incident. The state government had rubbished media reports as "totally false, misleading and not based on facts."
Today, the government ordered a probe into the matter.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has meanwhile taken suo motu cognizance of the incident and will hear the case on Monday. Survivors of the alleged rape can send their testimony via sealed envelopes to the chief judicial magistrate to keep their identities a secret, but none have come forward yet, according to the police. ABP news reported that a team from the National Commission for Women (NCW) visited Larhsoli village in Sonepat district, where the women were reportedly raped but are yet to get any leads.
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