SRINAGAR: Kashmir’s largest trade body, The Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), on Saturday said it will galvanise civil society and resort to “alternatives”, for which “the state government shall be responsible”, to demand swift and severe punishment to the “murderers and rapists” of the 8-year-old nomad girl in Kathua.
Mohammad Yaseen Khan, President of KTMF, said in an interaction with reporters here that police were acting tardy in the case. “Police claim to have a knack for solving big crimes in few days, but in the case of the innocent girl, who despite being from a majority (community) in the territory, is being treated as a minority,” he said.
“Against this stymied approach, which is intolerable, we will mobilise civil society if action is not taken soonest,” he said.
More than a month has passed since the girl’s body was found in a forested area on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to investigate the murder said that the girl was strangulated and had resisted rape but was drugged before she was killed. The police have arrested a 15-year-old boy and two special police officers (SPOs) who, police say, have confessed to the crime.
Yaseen Khan claimed that the case is being shifted to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “Now the case is being shifted to CBI, which is a ploy to help the arrested go free. This will be opposed tooth and nail. If justice is not done, we have alternatives… and the state will be responsible for that,” Yaseen Khan warned.
In Jammu, a newly-formed Hindu outfit called the Hindu Ekta Manch has organised a rally in favour of the accused and demanded that the investigation be handed over to the CBI.
Yaseen Khan said, “There is backing from political parties for the accused. We won’t let this prevail. If they know wrong ways to meet their ends, we know the right ways to counter them. It is unbecoming of an organisation to come out in support of murderers and rapists.”