The SIT was earlier given seven days till Wednesday to look into the matter. During this period, it spoke extensively to the victim’s family and recorded their statements. A senior Uttar Pradesh government official told ET that “new facts” have now emerged like the families of three out of the four accused, whose names were added to the case eight days after the incident, claiming that these three boys were nowhere near the crime spot. The SIT will cross-check their alibis and speak to other villagers for clarity, said the official.
The Samajwadi Party said the extension of the SIT’s term raises questions over the government’s intention. “There is definitely something that the government wants to cover up. Such moves only reinforce the point that the Yogi government is on the side of the accused,” said SP spokesman Sunil Singh Yadav.
The UP government has so far not promised to impose the National Security Act (NSA) against the accused in Hathras, a promise it has made in the case of rape and murder in Balrampur.
The family of the main accused in Hathras, Sandeep, has meanwhile claimed it is a case of “honour killing” by the victim’s brother who goes by the same name. Call detail records have also emerged showing that the victim’s brother had exchanged calls with the accused till last year. “The brother in question has so far told the SIT that he was away to Ghaziabad on a job at the time of the incident. The family has dismissed talk of any love affair between the victim and the accused Sandeep,” an official told ET on condition of anonymity.
The brother has however admitted to the phone number in question to be belonging to his family, prompting a detailed probe by the SIT. The statement of the girl, her mother’s statement as well as her brother’s complaint to the police on September 14 mentioned Sandeep (son of Guddu) as the accused who had strangulated the victim, said officials.
“An old rivalry between both families is also being probed,” said the official cited earlier.
The UP government told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that it wants an SC-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the Hathras case.
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