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The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday, August 13, issued notice to Uttar Pradesh government in Hapur mob lynching case in which a cattle trader was beaten to death and another man severely injured, allegedly on suspicion of cow slaughter.

The apex court also directed the Inspector General of Police, Meerut Range, to conduct an inquiry and submit a full report of the incident.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud was hearing a plea filed by a witness seeking protection and a court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the matter, said media reports.

The next date for hearing has been fixed for August 28.

News agency ANI reported, “Supreme Court asks Meerut Inspector General of police to submit a report with respect to the entire incident & to ensure protection to the witnesses in the case. Matter fixed for further hearing on August 28”

The apex court had taken up the matter for urgent hearing after news channel NDTV aired a sting operation of the accused boasting about how he committed the crime.

A cattle-trader, Qasim (45), was beaten to death by a mob at a sugarcane field in Hapur’s Pilakhuwa and 65-year-old Samiuddin was severely injured in a mob attack, allegedly in a cow-related incident, on June 18.

The police insisted it was actually a case of road rage.

Police had arrested two men — Yudhishtir Singh and Rakesh Sisodia — on charges of murder. According to the FIR filed at the Pilakhuwa police station, the incident was the result of a scuffle between unidentified bike-borne men and the two victims.

But the family of Samiuddin and the two men arrested insisted that it was related to cattle. Days after the incident, a photograph of him being dragged with three policemen in the frame went viral causing a stir in the UP Police.

The UP DGP in a statement said, “We apologise for the insensitive manner in which the victim was handled by our policemen. All the three policemen seen in the picture have been transferred to police lines and an enquiry has been ordered in the incident..”

Senior Counsel KV Viswanathan told the Court that an attempt is being made to paint the incident as road rage.

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