Kathua rape-murder case: Victim family’s lawyer fears political pressure

Kathua rape-murder case: Victim family’s lawyer fears political pressure
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Srinagar: Lawyers who are assisting the family of the 8-year-old girl raped and murdered in Kathua have said that political intervention and communal speeches are hampering the investigation in the case.
The counsel for the victim’s family, Deepika Singh Rajawat, told Kashmir Reader on Sunday that ministers of the BJP have appeared at many public events and provoked people to challenge the police probe.
“Lal Singh, who is a cabinet minister, recently appeared at Parashu Ram Mandir in Hiranagar and asked people to not care about the law. He even promised them that no one will be arrested in the case, come what may,” Deepika said.
Deepika has filed a petition in the High Court on behalf of the family. The petition has sought the court’s supervision of the police investigation.
The lawyer said that pressure is being mounted on the investigating officers through political campaigns and communal speeches. “The Crime Branch officers are doing the investigation wonderfully, but provocations and political pressure definitely hinder the investigation,” Deepika said.
Referring to the BJP ministers’s speeches at the Hiranagar rally, she said, “They were asking people to strengthen the agitation against the arrest of the accused, which amounts to intimidation of the victim and of the investigating officers,” she said.
Earlier, addressing a seminar here by telephone, Deepika highlighted different aspects of the case. “There is a vested interest working here which must be defeated through a fair probe by the Crime Branch,” she said.
Another lawyer, Talib Hussain, who is providing legal assistance to the family, said the family was being harassed.
“Such crimes have happened in the past as well,” he said of the girl’s rape and murder. “These crimes are aimed at terrorising the minority community,” he said, addressing the seminar.
According to him, BJP and Congress have joined hands to form the communal Hindu Ekta Manch.
“The organising of HEM is meant to incite violence and polarise voters,” Hussain said.
The seminar was organised by a solidarity group and was attended by members of civil society, media, doctors, and students.
“Let’s not hang our heads in collective shame by not standing up for the victim. We will ensure the safety of the victim’s family and that the criminals who mercilessly raped and murdered an innocent child are punished,” said Dr Khawar, one of the organisers.