Witnesses emerge, panel begins probe
The women were commuting on National Highway-1 during the violent Jat agitation earlier this week when they were allegedly sexually assaulted. Niranjan Singh, an elderly Sikh man, told media on Saturday that he saw hooligans assaulting women commuters and tearing off their clothes.
“I have seen this happening with my own eyes. The hooligans attacked the women and girls and tore off their clothes. Some were chased into the fields, some were dragged,” the witness said.
The alleged incidents took place early on Monday (February 22). Media reports said mass gang-rapes happened and that up to 10 women were sexually assaulted by a group of nearly 40 hooligans during the Jat agitation for reservation.
The reports said the women were pulled out of their cars, stripped and gang-raped in nearby fields. The victims later reached a nearby popular roadside eatery and sought help.
Another witness, Yadwinder, claimed he saw three women with children and some men who were trying to save themselves from the Jat protesters. The state government’s inquiry committee, headed by a woman Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Rajshree Singh and comprising two women Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs), Bharti Dabas and Surinder Kaur, on Saturday started the probe into the reported incidents. The committee visited Hasanpur village near Murthal, where the alleged assault took place.
The committee has been set up to look into allegations that women commuters were pulled out of their cars during the recent Jat agitation and mass gang-rapes took place at Murthal in Haryana’s
Meanwhile, Union Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi on Saturday said a team of National Commission for Women visited Murthal to verify reports of alleged gang-rape but no “substantial evidence” has been found so far.“I have sent a team of National Commission for Women to Murthal. But no substantial evidence has come out so far,” she said.