The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will take over the investigation into the alleged gang rape and murder of the 19-year-old Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, the crime which has sparked protests and outrage across the country, the Centre said in a notification on Saturday.
Officials familiar with the development said the central agency is likely to register a first information report (FIR) by late on Saturday night or early on Sunday. CBI will re-register the FIR filed by the state police and then begin investigations according to procedure, they added.
The Yogi Adityanath government, which has been criticised over the handling of the crime, had recommended a CBI probe last week even as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dismissed the protests by opposition as “political stunts”. The state government has also sought a probe by CBI into the FIR related to the alleged criminal conspiracy to spread caste conflict, instigating violence, incidents of vicious propaganda by sections of media and political interests.
The order came two days after a non-government organisation (NGO) moved the Supreme Court seeking to transfer the probe in the crime to CBI.
The woman was allegedly raped by four upper caste men on September 14 and was referred to Safdarjung Hospital in an extremely critical condition. She died two weeks later on September 29.
Meanwhile, the family members of the woman will appear before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court amid tight security on Monday. “The district administration and police are drafting a plan for the journey of the victim’s family to Lucknow so that they may appear before the court on October 12. Finer details are being worked out and it is to be decided when to leave Hathras for Lucknow and how many security personnel would accompany the family members,” Hathras’ superintendent of police said.
Shalabh Mathur, a senior police official, said elaborate security cover has been provided to the family in Hathras and a register is being maintained at the entrance of their house to keep a record of those visiting them. “Eight CCTV cameras have been installed and a small control room has been established to monitor the proceedings and movement of those reaching to house. A DFMD (Door Framed Metal Detector) has been installed and measures for fire fighting are also in place,” Mathur, a DIG sent to Hathras and camping there since Monday, said.
The district and sessions judge of Hathras has been appointed as the nodal officer for the appearance of the Hathras victim’s family member before the high court, which is also to be apprised of the arrangements being made. Senior authorities from Hathras are also expected to attend the proceedings on October 12.