Kathua rape and murder case: CM Mehbooba Mufti rejects demand for CBI probe as protests boil over

CM Mehbooba Mufti said the Kathua rape case was being thoroughly investigated by a very competent authority under the supervision of the J&K High Court.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Updated: March 13, 2018 1:28:54 pm
PDP-BJP alliance govt turns three in J-K: A look at what keeps them together Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has ruled out transfer of the investigation to any agency other than the crime branch. (File Photo)

Even as locals continued taking out rallies seeking a CBI enquiry into the alleged rape and murder of an 8-year-old Bakerwal girl in J&K’s Kathua district, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has ruled out transfer of the investigation to any agency other than the crime branch. “Some people are creating misgivings about the progress in the Kathua case. There is no scope for any misunderstanding about the nature of the investigation or the process followed,’’ Mufti tweeted on Monday.

The CM further said the Kathua rape case was being thoroughly investigated by a very competent authority under the supervision of the J&K High Court. “The case is being investigated thoroughly by a very competent police authority under the supervision of the highest court of the state,’’ Mufti said in another tweet, adding, “Any rally or demonstration in support of the accused are unethical. The law of the land is supreme & justice will prevail.”

On Monday, local villagers from Koota panchayat and nearby areas, under the banner of Hindu Ekta Manch, took out a bike rally from Jatwal to Hiranagar town, covering a distance of nearly 20 km on the Jammu-Kathua national highway. Later, they held a rally at Hiranagar, with leaders saying that they wanted justice for the deceased and demanded a CBI enquiry so that no innocent was framed. The protesters were supported by the BJP, the main ally of the PDP in the coalition government. The Hindu Ekta Manch is headed by state BJP secretary Vijay Kumar Sharma.

The eight-year-old girl disappeared on January 10, when she was out grazing ponies. Her body was found on January 11 in a wooded part of Rasana village, and tests have established that she was raped, and was alive for at least three or four days after she went missing. A juvenile has been arrested subsequently. However, a medical board set up by the Principal Government Medical College, Jammu, has concluded, after conducting physical, dental and radiological examinations, that the accused was over 19 years.

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People in nearby Samba town also observed a bandh in support of the demand of Hindu Ekta Manch for a CBI probe. Work in courts also remained paralysed during the day as Samba Bar Association members observed a hartal to press for CBI probe into the matter. Later, the lawyers took out a rally to the national highway and blocked the road for nearly half an hour.

The investigation into the incident, which brought the communal divide in Jammu out in the open, has found that it was part of a conspiracy to make Bakherwal nomads move out of the area in fear.

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