The Jat agitation in Haryana has come to an end, but there are reports of alleged incidents of rapes in Murthal, a popular town 75 kms from Delhi. The independent witnesses who came forth a few days complaining about such troublesome incidents have retracted their statements.
Owners of dhabas in the area claimed that they gave shelter to women who were misbehaved with. Residents of the area also said that ‘naked women’ were seen running for protection.
“People in Dhabas told us that few women came running and they gave them shelter. Then we went to a nearby village, where an elder lady told that we saw one naked women with her two children,” a resident of the area said.
Chief Minister ML Khattar has offered affirmation of security to the victims if they come forward.
The state government has set up a helpline number – 18001802057 – whereby any person having information about any such incident can share it with the authorities.
Reports suggested that gang rapes took place in the early hours of February 22 and up to 10 women were sexually assaulted by a group of nearly 40 hooligans during the Jat community’s agitation or reservation. The reports said that the women were pulled out of their cars, stripped and gang-raped in nearly fields.
Reports also said clothes and undergarments of women were found strewn in the area but Haryana Police claimed that these could have fallen out from bags of the commuters who were stopped and chased away by the Jat protestors who set their vehicles on fire later.
Additional Chief Secretary PK Das claimed that state government was
“very serious about this alleged incident and those found guilty would not be spared”. Das appealed to people to cooperate and provide information without any fear.
Haryana Police and the state government had on Wednesday denied any incident of “indecent behaviour” and rape of women in Sonipat. “Investigations conducted by the Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Devender Singh and Inspector General of Police Paramjit Ahlawat had found the allegations made in the report false and baseless,” the DGP claimed earlier.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday took suo moto notice of reports that some women, who were commuting on the Delhi-Ambala highway (NH-1), were stripped and raped by rioters during the violent Jat agitation for job quota.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal urged any victims who belong to Delhi to approach the body for legal support and justice. Victims can either call the 181 women’s helpline or visit the DCW office, Maliwal said, adding that it would be ensured their confidentiality is maintained.