Disclosure about arrests comes 5 days after case filed by police
Anantnag: Four persons, including a policeman, a retired army man, and a woman, were arrested on April 2 for allegedly raping a minor girl soon after her family filed a complaint, here in Qazigund area of Kulgam district.
Police issued a press release on Wednesday, 5 days after the arrests were made, after a local news agency carried the news.
“If press releases regarding arrests of militants or OGWs are issued within fifteen minutes, why was this news held back by the police? Were they trying to shield the cop and the retired army man?” some people from Qazigund that Kashmir Reader talked to said.
The date of the incident of the crime is not yet known. However, as per sources, the family of the victim found out that she was pregnant and managed to get the disclosure of the crime from the girl, who happens to be a minor.
“Police registered an FIR and on the identification of the girl managed to nab the culprits,” a police source told Kashmir Reader.
“Police registered an FIR on April 2 and on the same day we managed to nab all four of them,” Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Qazigund, Shafiq Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader. “Some people are running the news that there were two policemen. There was only one policeman involved in the incident,” he added.
Asked about the role of the woman in the incident, Shafiq said that she might have been a facilitator.
Interestingly, on April 5, police claimed to have arrested two people in connection with a rape case in Mirbazar area of Qazigund. But there was no official communication pertaining to the case dating back to April 2.
The police’s press release issued today, after widespread outcry, identified the perpetrators. “Following the complaint by the family, an FIR, bearing number 61-2021, was lodged and four accused were arrested,” the press release read. The accused were identified as Zahoor Ahmad Mir, son of Mohd Ahsan Mir, resident of Beebrada Parigam; Aejaz Ahmad Shah, son of Mohd Yousf Shah, resident of Cheyan Devsar; Kifayat Ahmad Malik, son of Ghulam Hassan Malik, resident of Yaripora; and Shabrooza, wife of Mushtaq Ahmad Itoo, resident of Damjen.
Zahoor Ahmad Mir is a retired army man and runs a readymade garment shop in Qazigund area while Kifayat Ahmad Mailk is a policeman who is posted around the area and lives at a rented accommodation in Qazigund area.
Police, meanwhile, have said that the crime had not been committed inside a police premise and neither was the accused policeman on duty at that time. “Pertinently, in addition to criminal proceedings, departmental proceedings have also been initiated against him,” the press release read.
Also, Kashmir Reader spoke to Dr Zahoor Ahmad, Block Medical Officer of the area, who maintained that he was not sure whether the minor girl was brought in for a medical examination to the Primary Health Centre (PHC), which he heads, or not.
“I have been quite busy for a few days in some meetings and I am not sure whether she was brought in or not. I was approached by some other people as well for comments and I gave them the number of the concerned SHO, for he would be in a better position to talk about the issue,” the BMO said.
The Medical Superintendent (MS) of another hospital in the area, The Emergency and Trauma Hospital, Dr Asima Nazir did not attend her phone despite repeated calls by this reporter.