SHABIR AHMAD/ MUSHTAQ-UL-ISLAM
PULWAMA: Police has arrested a truck driver on charges of raping and murdering a girl who had been missing since last month.
Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Chadoora area of Budgam district, was arrested for the murder of
20-year old Muneera Akhter , a resident of Wangam Niwa village here. The girl had gone missing on November 26 on her way home from a pencil factory she was working in. Her body was recovered from a field in Nowgam area of Srinagar on Thursday.
Giving details of the case, SSP, Pulwama, Tejinder Singh, said after the victims’ parents on November 26 filed a missing report about their daughter, following which police registered an FIR under number 272 of 2014 US 263/ 302 and started investigations into the mattter.
“During the course of investigation we questioned many suspects including the owner of the factory where the victim was working.
“It came to fore that the girl after leaving the factory had taken lift from a tipper driver to reach her home. We zeroed in on all the tipper drivers plying on the route and during the course of investigation it was found that a tipper driver Zahoor Ahmad Bhat of Tujru Budgam had given her the lift,” the police officer said. He said that Zahoor on being interrogated confessed that after giving lift to girl he sexually assaulted and murdered her.
The accused, SSP said, had strangulated the girl and later dumped her body in a desolated place near Khanday Colony, Nowgam in Srinagar with the help of his two friends Sahab Khan of Tujru Budgam and Irshad Ahmad Matoo of Kisrigam Kakpora.
“The girl’s body was handed over to her family today after the post mortem and medical examination at district hospital Pulwama,” SSP said.
Meanwhile hundreds of people in victim’s native village held protests and demanded harsh punishment to the people involved in the crime. “The girl had been sexually assaulted before being murdered. We demand that the criminals be hanged so that the justice is done to the victim,” a protester told Kashmir Reader.