Doctors at Kathua district hospital on Tuesday took blood samples of a 13-year-old girl and her year-old baby, as well as a 28-year-old man accused of rape, in an effort to ascertain the baby’s paternity.
This followed instructions from DGP S P Vaid, who ordered constitution of a special investigation team headed by Kathua SSP Shridhar Patil to probe the matter. The move came after a representation to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and the DGP by the girl’s counsel Deepika Rajawat, who took up the case of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in the forests of Kathua district.
The 13-year-old, a Dalit, hails from Basohli Assembly constituency of the district. According to her father, she was grazing livestock in 2016 when the accused — who comes from an upper caste family in a nearby village — abducted her at knifepoint and raped her. The girl returned home that evening but did not reveal anything as the accused had threatened her, he added.
“We got to know about it 6-7 months later when we suspected something was wrong, and took her to a doctor,” the father told The Indian Express. “On questioning, she narrated the incident. We lodged an FIR at Basohli police station, but police did not arrest the accused, who later sought anticipatory bail.” It was too late for abortion, and the girl gave birth to a boy on May 30, 2017, the father said.
Basohli SHO Sukhbir Singh denied the allegations, saying the police immediately lodged an FIR when the matter was brought to their notice. The girl, who was eight months’ pregnant then, named the accused during probe, he said, adding that police got a DNA test done on the child but it showed that the accused was not his father.
The girl’s father, however, claimed that the police were hand-in-glove with the accused, and that the samples were not properly handled. “I have sold my entire livestock to raise money for getting justice for my daughter and treatment of her child,” he added.
Rajawat said, “We are only demanding that the police conduct fair investigation and arrest the accused.”
She said she had filed a petition in the high court, requesting it to monitor the probe.