Govt claims arrest of minor in Kathua murder case 

JAMMU: Government on Friday said that the accused, a minor (15 years old), has been arrested in connection with the death of a minor girl in Hiranagar area of district Kathua.

Responding to the concern expressed by the Legislators on the gruesome incident, Minister for Revenue & Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Rehman Veeri informed the House that the accused has confessed to the crime.

He said the investigation conducted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by SDPO border Chadwal revealed that the accused kidnapped the minor girl and put her in nearby cowshed at village Rassana, where he attempted to rape her and when she resisted, he killed her by way of strangulation. He said the accused has been arrested and further investigations are on.

Giving details of the case, the Minister said that on 12.01.2018, the complainant Mohammad Yousuf S/o Shab Din R/o Rassana Mohara, Tehsil Hiranagar produced a written application before the police stating therein that his daughter namely Asifa (8 years) had gone for grazing horses in the nearby forest area. At about 1600 hours, the horses returned to the Dhera but Asifa did not return. Consequently, the complainant alongwith others started search in the forest and on the next day they again searched the forest areas but Asifa could not be traced.

As per the content of the application, case FIR No: 10/2018 U/S363 RPC was registered and the investigation started.

The Minister said that during the course of investigation, police party of Police Station Hiranagar and VDC Badoli visited the spot and search of Rassana forest was conducted alongwith civilians and Bakerwals residing in the area.

He said on 17.01.2017, at about 1030 hours dead body of missing girl Asifa was recovered from the Rassana forest area. Thereafter the police team alongwith SDPO and SHO Hiranagar visited the spot and photography of dead body was conducted through crime photographer, service of FSL team was also utilized. The dead body of deceased was taken into police custody for post-mortem.

Later on, the dead body was shifted to District Hospital Kathua for conducting the post-mortem through board of doctors. After the post-mortem, the dead body was handed over to its legal heirs for last rites.

Investigation of case is in progress to collect more evidence about the commission of offence by the accused, he said.

Earlier, the government had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the murder of  the 8-year-old girl following protests by the opposition in the legislative assembly.

Responding to the opposition, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs informed the House that government will hold a magisterial probe into the murder.

“The concerned deputy commissioner will conduct the inquiry,” he said. 

The Minister made the statement after opposition staged protests in the House and demanded action against the police officers for failing to trace the girl after she went missing on January 10.

“Where was SHO? Where was the SSP?” asked Congress legislator GM Saroori.

NC MLA Main Altaf also demanded a time-bound probe in the murder.

Earlier, the murder of Kathua girl sparked protests by the members of opposition parties in the assembly for the second consecutive day.

As soon as proceedings of the House began, the opposition members staged a protest, demanding a magisterial probe into the murder.

They also demanded action against police for failing to trace the minor girl whose body was found on Wednesday after remaining missing for a week.

Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs minister Abdul Rehman Veeri told the House that “whosoever is involved (in the killing of the Bakerwal girl) will not be spared.

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