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CM appalled by protests in defense of apprehended ‘rapist’

Srinagar, Feb 16: Chief Minister Mehbooba on Friday lashed out at rightwing Hindu EktaManch for taking out protest march demanding the release of main accused in 8-year-old Kathua child’s rape and murder.
CM took to social networking site Twitter, and expressed her anger against the protest rally. “Appalled by the marches and protests in defense of the recently apprehended rapist in Kathua,” CM tweeted.
She further went on saying, “Horrified by their use of our national flag in these demonstrations, this is nothing short of desecration. The accused has been arrested & the law will follow its course,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.
On Wednesday, people had taken out a protest rally threatening agitation in case Special Police Officer accused of rape and murder of a minor girl Asifa in Kathua was not released from custody.
Reports said that the protest was led by BJP leader and leaders of Hindu EktaManch, the protesters took out a rally from Ghagwal to Hiranagar in Kathua against the arrest of SPO Deepak in rape and brutal murder case.
The protesters said, “Deepak should be released and those whom the Crime Branch (CB) has called for questioning should not be harassed.”
“It will disturb the situation. We are against the murder of the minor nomad girl but we don’t want our men to be framed,” said a leader of Hindu EktaManch.
A special police officer (SPO) was arrested by the Crime branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police for his alleged involvement in kidnapping and killing of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district last month.
The girl’s body was recovered from the Rassana forest on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses.
The issue had repeatedly rocked the state Assembly with opposition parties raising questions and demanding action against the culprits.
On January 23, the Mehbooba Mufti government had ordered a probe in the kidnapping and killing of the girl and handed over the case to the crime branch of the state police.
With the arrest of the SPO, the number of arrests in the case has gone up to two.
A special investigation team (SIT), constituted by the state police, had arrested a 15-year-old boy and claimed the accused had strangulated the victim after she resisted his rape attempt.
The government ordered suspension of a station house officer on January 20. The government has also ordered a magisterial probe in the case.