Kathua rape: Police baton charge, launch tear gas on protesters

Jammu: Police today baton-charged and tear-gassed protesters during a march taken out by the Dogra community demanding a CBI probe into the rape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district.

Several people were injured in the police action and the clashes that followed on Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Chadwal area. One person was reported critical after he was hit by a bus during the protest.

Thousands of Dogra community members had taken out “Ekta Yatra” demanding a CBI investigation into the matter and to protest the mass detention of youngsters by the police. The protesters allege that crime branch officials were harassing members of a particular community in connection with the case.

The minor girl’s body was recovered from a forest area on January 17, a week after she had gone missing. On January 23, the government handed over the case to the crime branch of the police, which arrested two Special Police Officers for their alleged involvement in the abduction and killing of the girl.

A special investigation team later also arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with the case.

Today, a large number of police personnel were deployed in the area fearing trouble during the protest. The protesters raised slogans against Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the BJP, and the police and the crime branch. PTI

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