Hathras case: CBI questions victim’s family for 2nd day, whereabouts asked

Written by Amil Bhatnagar
| Hathras |

October 15, 2020 1:33:10 am

Family members of victim were questioned at a makeshift CBI camp office on Hathras-Aligarh road. (Express photo by Gajendra Yadav)

The Hathras gangrape and murder victim’s family members were questioned for the second consecutive day by the CBI on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old victim’s father and two brothers were taken to the makeshift CBI camp office, set up in a local government office, and questioned for nearly six-and-a-half hours. They were taken back to their village amid heavy security in the evening.

The three were questioned in two separate rooms, and statements of each were recorded and videographed by investigating officials, it is learnt.

Sources said the family members were questioned about their whereabouts on September 14, when the crime occurred, and the sequence of events. Their statements were corroborated with ones they gave to the Special Investigation Team SIT and UP Police, according to the sources.

The CBI team probing the case includes DSP Seema Pahuja, who investigated the rape and murder of a minor in Kotkhai, Himachal Pradesh – the girl’s body was subsequently found in a forest. ASP V K Shukla, DSP R R Tripathi and Inspector S Sreemathy, among others, are part of the CBI team.

A team of investigators from the central probe agency also questioned senior medical officials at Hathras District Hospital, where the victim was initially taken, hours after the crime, before she was referred to AMU Hospital.

On Tuesday, the CBI had summoned her brother and questioned him primarily on the evidence list gathered so far by investigation teams.

“He was taken by CBI for procedural questioning. There were slippers, her clothes, which he was asked to identify. We are cooperating (in the probe),” the victim’s sister-in-law said.

Meanwhile, police and administrative officials continue to remain deployed outside the family’s home.

A team of 15 officials, including those from the Forensic Science Laboratory, have set up camp at the Krishi Vibhag Guest House on Hathras-Aligarh Road, around 7 or 8 km from the victim’s village. The office space attached to the guesthouse has been turned into a makeshift office; entry has been barred for outsiders so long as the CBI team is stationed there.

Police officials from local thanas have been stationed outside the government office to ensure smooth operation.

The CBI teams are likely to visit AMU Hospital and Aligarh Jail, where the accused are currently in custody, as part of their investigation.

The investigation into the alleged gangrape and murder of the 19-year-old was handed over to the CBI on the UP government’s recommendation.

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