Jammu: The government on Tuesday transferred the case of the alleged rape and brutal murder of a minor in Kathua for investigation to the Crime Branch.
Raising a “point of information” in the Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs minister Abdul Rehman Veeri said: “J&K Crime Branch will investigate the case, FIR number 10/2018 under section 363, 302 RPC at Police Station Hiranagar.”
Veeri told the House that a magisterial enquiry will also be held in the case to ascertain whether there was any lapse on the part of the police or the civil administration.
An eight-year-old girl was abducted on January 10 in Hiranagar area of Kathua district and was murdered after being sexually assaulted. Her body was found on January 17, some three kilometres from her home.
A 15-year-old minor has been arrested in the case, so far. However, opposition members believe that such a heinous crime cannot be done in isolation. They have picked holes in the initial investigation.
The police have not revealed the identity of the accused, saying he was a minor.
A police statement said that the “Kathua Kidnapping and murder case (was) transferred to state Crime Branch”.
“On the directions of Police Headquarters J&K, the Kathua Kidnapping, murder case has been transferred to State Crime Branch vide PHQ order number 374 of 2018 dated 22.01.2018 for expeditious investigation,” the statement said.
Following the orders, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), State Crime Branch Headquarters constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate the case.
The SIT has been directed to finalise the investigation expeditiously and submit the progress reports in the office of the ADGP, State Crime Branch Headquarters, on a daily basis.
The SIT will be headed by Additional Superintendent of Police (SP), Crime Branch Kashmir, Peerzada Naveed and includes Dy SP, Crime Branch Jammu, Nissar Hussain; DySP, Crime Branch Jammu, Shetambari Sharma; SI Irfan Wani and ASI Tariq Ahmad.
The police said, “Some unscrupulous elements are updating wrong information on social media networks with malicious intent. Action under law is being taken against the rumour mongers who are floating such false and mischievous information.”
The minor, a resident of Kathua’s Rasana area, belonged to the Bakerwal community which lives as a minority group in the area. The eight-year-old had taken her family’s horse to graze when she was abducted on January 10. Suspecting that she had been abducted, her family lodged a missing person complaint in the Hiranagar police station. Her body was found January 17 with marks of physical violence; her lips were bitten and there were signs that she had been tortured. The slain minor’s mother has said her daughter had been sexually abused.