The Supreme Court on Tuesday termed the gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old girl in UP’s Hathras “shocking” and “horrible” and assured that the investigation in the case will be smooth. Question regarding the protection of the family and witnesses in the case involving the torture and alleged gang rape of a 20-year-old woman from Hathras, came up before the Supreme Court today. Questioning what steps have been taken regarding this, the court issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government. The court also questioned if the family has access to a lawyer. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde was hearing a petition seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation or a Special Investigation Team inquiry monitored by sitting or retired judges in the matter. The state has requested the Supreme Court to direct a CBI investigation not only into the woman’s gangrape but also into the case relating to an alleged criminal conspiracy to spread caste conflict by sections of media and political parties.