Jammu: The ruling PDP-BJP government on Tuesday ordered crime branch probe into the gruesome ‘rape’ and murder of 8-year-old girl in Kathua district last week.
The announcement was made by Minister Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri in legislative assembly, presently in its Budget session.
The rape and murder of the minor nomad girl continued to roil the state assembly. On Monday, members castigated the government for the use of force against protesting Bakarwals and the arrest of a social activist who was leading the demonstrations.
The social activist, Talib Hussain, a lawyer by profession, had been picked up by the police on Sunday night when hundreds of demonstrators were lighting candles on the Kathua highway in memory of the 8-year-old victim, Asifa Banu, who was found dead near her native village Rassana in Hiranagar on January 17 after being missing for a week.
Later in the day, giving a statement in the Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, A R Veeri said that on January 21, people had gathered at the residence of Mohammad Yousuf for condolences and Fateh Khawani on the 4th day of the death of the deceased minor girl Asifa.
“At about 1600 hours, a mob of 200-250 protestors led by one Talib Hussain and one Nazakat Khattana carrying Lathis iron Rods, etc. blocked NHW at Charm Morian Tehsil Hiranagar.”
He said SSP Kathua along with Additional SP Kathua, SDM Hiranagar, Dy SP Hqrs Kathua and SDPO Border, Chadwal immediately rushed to the spot and tried to pacify the agitating “mob.”
“The protestors were briefed about the status of the police investigation and further course of action in the case of the minor deceased girl. The SDM Hiranagar also tried to persuade the protesters to open the Highway but they remained adamant and demanded the presence of the Deputy Commissioner Kathua at the spot and assured to open the road after DCs arrival,” the Minister said. He said however despite the arrival of the Deputy Commissioner Kathua on the spot, they continued the blockade of highway.
“Thereafter, suddenly some miscreants within the mob started stone pelting and attacked the officers present on spot with sticks/ iron rods, etc. they were carrying. Due to this action of the protestors, 4 Police personnel got injured and one civilian has also been injured in the incident,” Veeri had said adding subsequently, the “mob was dispersed using mild lathi charge and movement of traffic commenced at about 2030 hours”.
The girl’s murder has been rocking the assembly since the day after the dead body was found on Jan 17, and members on Monday questioned the police for rounding up only one suspect.
The police has constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe the murder and said that it has arrested one 15-year-old boy who, according to it, had confessed to having killed the girl.
His identity has not been disclosed due to the restrictions imposed by the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, the police has said.
Members asked how a minor alone could have carried the dead body to a hiding place after committing the murder.
Opposition members said that the police was trying to save others who had helped the accused minor, and was trying to hush the matter up.