Kathua rape and murder case: Separatist leader warns of agitation if justice denied, Jammu bar demands CBI probe

8-year-old nomad girl Asifa Bano R/o Rasana village in Hira Nagar, Kathua had gone missing on January 10 and a week later her body was recovered with bruises, bite-marks on lips and more.

Published: 09th March 2018 08:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th March 2018 08:20 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose.

Express News Service

SRINAGAR:  The investigation into the rape and murder of 8-year-old girl in Kathua is turning out to be a major challenge for PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir with separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq warning of massive agitation if justice was and culprits shielded while Jammu Bar Association has supported Hindu Ekta Manch (HEM’s) demand of handing over probe of the case to CBI from State police’s Crime Branch.

“If any attempt is made to shield the culprits or sabotage the investigation in the rape and murder of 8-year-old girl Asifa, we will launch an agitation,” Mirwaiz said while addressing Friday congregation prayers at historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar today.

He said the Kathua incident has shocked the State. “It is a criminal act and perpetrators of the crime should be punished”.

“If justice is not delivered in the case, it can have very serious repercussions for the state,” the separatist leader said adding the separatist leaders are closing watching the ongoing probe.

8-year-old nomad girl Asifa Bano R/o Rasana village in Hira Nagar, Kathua had gone missing on January 10 and a week later her body was recovered with bruises, bite-marks on lips and bones of the arm and thigh broken. She was allegedly sexually assaulted before being killed.

The locals did not allow her family and relatives to bury her body in the graveyard in the area. Her body was later buried in a graveyard in another village, which is 8 kms away from her residence.

The Crime Branch has so far arrested five people including a juvenile, two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a Sub Inspector in its ongoing probe in the rape and murder case.

The Jammu Bar Association today extended support to HEM’s demand of handing over probe of the case to CBI. 

“We support the demand of agitating people of Hiranagar seeking a CBI probe in the murder case so that the real culprit is punished and innocents are not harassed and tortured,” Jammu Bar Association president B S Slathia said.

He said only the CBI probe could restore peace in Kathua and Samba districts.

Slathia asked the BJP ministers that if Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti does not accept their demand of CBI probe into the incident, then they should approach the central leaders including Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The HEM is agitating in Kathua to demand release of the persons arrested by Crime Branch for their alleged involvement in the crime and handing over of case to CBI. The HEM has received open support from two BJP ministers.

However, Mehbooba has rejected the demand for CBI probe into the rape and murder of the Kathua girl saying the State crime branch has completed the probe.

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