Lucknow, October 8: The accused in the Hathras gang rape and murder case have written to the district police chief from jail claiming innocence in the incident and sought “justice” even as the Allahabad High Court dismissed a plea by the victim’s family seeking release from the alleged “illegal detention” of the U.P. police in their native village.

A Division Bench of Justices Prakash Padia and Pritinker Diwaker on Thursday noted that State government had already been directed to file affidavits clarifying its stand in the entire case by the Supreme Court, The Hindu reported.

“In the aforesaid facts and circumstances of the case, judicial propriety demands that it will not be proper for this Court to entertain the present petition on merits, especially when security has been provided to petitioners 1 to 6 and other family members of the deceased victim-girl on the observation made by the apex court,” said the HC. Similar directions had already been issued by the Lucknow Bench of the HC in a suo motu petition on October 1, the court added.

If the petitioners have any grievance, they are at liberty to file appropriate petition or application before the apex court, the HC said.

In a letter to SP Hathras, the accused Sandeep Singh claimed he and three others were falsely implicated in the case by the family of the victim.

The letter, also widely circulated on social media on Thursday, has thumb impressions of all four accused, the other three being Ravi, Lavkush and Ramu.

In the letter, Sandeep claims that he was acquainted with the victim and the two would speak on phone but the girl’s family did not approve of their friendship.

He also goes on to claim that on the day of the incident, he had met the victim in the fields and that she was accompanied by her brother and mother. Sandeep further claims through hearsay information that after he left the spot on the girl’s request, the girl’s brother and mother beat her up.

Alok Singh, Senior Superintendent, Aligarh Jail confirmed that Sandeep Singh had sent a letter to the SP Mathura. Officer Singh said he forwarded the letter to SP Hathras as per the rules.

Reacting to the letter, a female relative of the victim told a television channel that she sensed “plans” being played out to protect the four accused. “Stories are being pitched to save them. Everything is theirs, the ministers and the MPs are theirs. Who do we have? Poor people don’t have anyone except for God,” the woman said.

The family of the victim had filed a habeas corpus petition in the HC against their alleged illegal detention. The writ was moved by Surendra Kumar, the general secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Valmiki Mahapanchayat on behalf of the family, through advocates Kashif Abbas Rizvi and Joun Abbas.

The petition also prayed for directing the administration to allow the family — the victim’s parents, two brothers, sister-in-law and grandmother — to move to Delhi as per their free will.

The petitioners alleged that that they were being restrained from exercising their fundamental right to free movement, and have been confined at their home. They also said they have been “prevented from meeting or communicating freely, thereby violating their Fundamental Right to freedom of speech and expression as well as the right to receive information”.

The State government counsel objected to the petition on several counts, prime among them that the matter was already sub-judice before the Supreme Court, hence the plea before the HC was not maintainable.

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