Magisterial probe to be conducted
JAMMU: A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the murder of the minor girl in Hiranagar area of district Kathua, the government informed the legislative assembly Friday.
Minister for Revenue & Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Rehman Veeri told the House in the evening that the accused has confessed to the crime.
Earlier in the day, after protests by opposition members, Veeri said that a deputy commissioner level officer will probe the abduction and murder of the eight-year-old Kathua girl. The government had earlier formed a special investigation team (SIT) led by the concerned SDPO.
Giving details on the arrest, Veeri said the investigation conducted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by SDPO border Chadwal found 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.
He said that on Januray 12, the complainant Mohammad Yousuf resident of Rassana Mohara, Tehsil Hiranagar produced a written application before the police stating therein that his daughter 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 along with others started search in the forest and on the next day they again searched the forest areas but Asifa could not be traced.
A 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 along with civilians and Bakerwals residing in the area.
He said on January 17, at about 1030 hours the body of missing girl was recovered from the Rassana forest area. Thereafter the police team along with 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, Minister for Works, Naeem Akhtar also made a statement in the Upper House on the issue.
As soon the legislative assembly resumed business this morning, opposition members led by National Conference (NC) raised the issue of alleged rape and murder of the minor girl for the second consecutive day.
The NC, Congress and independent MLAs stood up from their seats and sought status of the SIT investigation and accused the police officers of dereliction in their duty.
Amid “Laadli beti ko, insaaf do; Sharam karo, sharam karo” slogans led by MLA Nubra, Deldan Namgyal, Parliamentary Affairs minister Veeri told the house that an inquiry “at the level of DC/magistrate will be conducted and whoever found guilty will be taken to task.”
Veeri told the house that those from police or civil administration if found accused of “not acting on appropriate time will also be punished”. However, he did not give time-frame as and when the inquiry report will be made public.
The opposition pressed that the government give assurance about the time period so as the guilty are punished as soon as possible.
“Excesses have been done to her,” said prominent Gujjar leader and NC MLA from Kangan, Mian Altaf. “What has government done about it?”
The Congress legislators termed the incident “very serious” while seeking the status of investigation by SIT.
Ghulam Mohammad Saroori asked the government to immediately suspend the police officers including SHO and DySP who “did not act on time”.
Congress MLA, Vikar Rasool, has alleged that the accused belongs to Hiranagar and enjoys political patronage.
“There is no accountability of the officials,” NC’s Ali Mohammad Sagar told the house. “Government is not taking the matter seriously,” he told the treasury benches, “if it was so, you would have arrested the culprits then and there.”
The girl’s family has said that her body bore marks of torture and electric shocks while her lips were bitten. They added that her modesty was outraged.