Jammu, Apr 08: The crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir police is likely to submit the charge sheet before the high court in the rape and murder case of a minor girl in Kathua district next week, a senior police officer said today.
The incident had sparked an outrage across the state.
“The over two-and-a-half-month long investigation is almost complete and we are likely to file the charge sheet in the court, which is monitoring the case, next week,” the officer told PTI.
Body of eight-year-old girl from the Bakherwal community was recovered from Rassana forest on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area.
On January 23, the government handed over the case to the crime branch of state police which formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and arrested eight persons, including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a head constable, in connection with the case. The head constable was charged with destruction of evidence.
Among the accused, former revenue official and the alleged conspirator Sanji Ram (60) surrendered before the crime branch on March 20 after his son Vishal was arrested from Uttar Pradesh.
The officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, refused to divulge the exact date for filing of the charge sheet but said the probe was in its concluding phase after the crime branch received the forensic test reports which confirmed that the eight-year-old girl was held hostage at a temple premises, drugged and raped several times before being murdered.
Though the incident sent shock waves across the state, several parties including Jammu High Court Bar Association (JHCBA) and National Panthers Party (NPP) supported the demand for a CBI probe which, however, was turned down by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
The JHCBA is on strike since Thursday in support of various demands including handing over the Kathua rape-cum-murder case to CBI, a demand which was also highlighted by women relatives of the accused who are on an indefinite hunger strike since March 31.
The BJP, which is sharing power with the PDP in the state, yesterday said it supports the issues like deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshi immigrants raised by the JHCBA, but will not like to support them for the Rassana (rape-cum-murder) issue since it was subjudice.
It, however, alleged that one of the members of SIT, investigating the case, himself was involved in a “twin murder and rape case of Hindu boy and a girl”.
“In-charge Karara Police Post, Thathri police station, was arrested in 2007 for murder of a boy and alleged rape of a girl during illegal custody. How can person of such a character and antecedents be associated with the present investigation and is likely to raise doubts on the fairness of the investigation,” state BJP chief spokesperson Sunil R P Sethi had said.
Soon after the incident, the residents of Kathua formed the Hindu Ekta Manch and marched through the streets with tricolour to press for release of the arrested persons but later changed their demand for CBI inquiry after severe criticism from different quarters, including the chief minister.
On February 27, the residents of village Rassana migrated to Hiranagar as a protest against the PDP-BJP government, alleging harassment and mass detentions by the crime branch.
Two BJP ministers — Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga — visited the protesters and supported their demand for a CBI probe.
On March 8, Chief Minister Mufti had rejected the demand of the BJP for a CBI probe and said the probe was almost complete by over 95 per cent.
The investigation revealed that it was a pre-planned murder carried out with the intention to instill fear among the Bakharwal nomads residing in the area and drive them out.
One of the arrested persons, who was said to be a juvenile, underwent for a medical examination at government medical college here on March 7 which opined that he was over 19 years old, two days before the crime branch submitted a detailed status report to the court.
Meanwhile, a women’s roundtable conference, organised by NGO Fahad Mir Foundation of Jammu and Swar Raga of Haryana here yesterday, said the social crimes should not be politicised or communalised and dealt as per law.
The conference was attended by eminent women of Jammu who are acclaimed for their social work in diverse fields and research scholars from local universities and colleges.
“Social crimes should not be identified with any cast creed, religion, or particular strata. Women are powerful enough to question and challenge any such negative development in the society,” founder of Fahad Mir Foundation Ruchi Chauhan Khan said.
She alleged that there was some delay in addressing the critical issue of Rassana rape and murder case. “The message should go across that all atrocities against women or any vulnerable section must be seen as social challenges, and not twisted to suit political or communal agendas,” Khan said.
SHO injured in Anantnag attack succumbs at AIIMS
Srinagar, Jun 16: The Station House Officer of the police station Sadr in Anantnag succumbed on Sunday, four days after he had received critical injuries in a militant attack in the town.
The slain officer Arshad Ahmad Khan was critically injured after militants attacked a joint party of CRPF and police at a bus stand in Anantnag on June 12.
In the attack, five paramilitary troopers and a militant were killed and four other security forces personnel including the Station House Officer were injured in the attack. Besides, a girl Snober (18) daughter of Ashraf Malik of Danter also sustained a bullet wound in her leg.
Khan according to reports was being operated in Srinagar’s SKIMS hospital. However, he was flown to Delhi’s AIIMS hospital on Sunday where he succumbed to injuries.
Malik instrumental in bringing JRL together: NIA
Claims Aalam revealed ‘rift between separatists on funds’
New Delhi, Jun 16: National Investigating Agency (NIA) Sunday said that the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik was instrumental in bringing the Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani and Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq together to spearhead the 2016 agitation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Yasin Malik was instrumental in bringing together the disparate factions of Hurriyat and formed Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) which spear headed the 2016 agitation in Kashmir,” NIA said in a press statement.
It said that the JRL issued protest calendars leading to economic shutdown for over four months and also caused death/injuries to civilians and security forces in the valley.
“Yasin Malik admitted that the JRL and Hurriyat Conference Geelani Group collected funds from business community as well as certain other sources and ensured that economic shut down and violent protests continue to disrupt the daily life of common citizens in the valley,” the NIA said in the statement.
It said that Muslim League chairman Masarat Aalam Bhat revealed in the investigation that Pakistan based agents route funds through hawala operators which were transferred to the separatists including Syed Ali Geelani.
“Aalam said there are rifts in the Hurriyat regarding collection/use of funds,” it said.
The NIA said leader of Duktaran-e-Milat, Asiya Andrabi, was grilled by it about the educational expenses of her son in Malaysia incurred by Zahoor Watali, who was arrested in the alleged funding case.
“During interrogation, Asiya Andrabi admitted that she had been collecting funds and donations from foreign sources and Duktaran-e-Milat had been organising protests by Muslim women in the valley,” it claimed.
The NIA has already approached the relevant authorities for providing evidence relating to certain bank accounts used by Asiya Andrabi’s son Mohammad bin Qasim while he was in the university, it said.
Another separatist leader, Shabbir Shah, had to face some tough time when he was confronted about his businesses, including a hotel in Pahalgam which is allegedly funded through foreign funds received by him from Pakistan, the statement said.
“During the custodial interrogation, Shabir Shah was confronted with evidence relating to transfer of money by Pakistan-based agents and representatives of APHC (All Parties Hurriyat Conference) factions to parties affiliated to Hurriyat in J and K. He was also confronted about his investments in various hotels and businesses in Pahalgam, properties in Jammu, Srinagar and Anantnag,” the NIA said.
The NIA had registered a case in May, 2017 against belonging to Jammat ud Dawah, Duktaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and other separatist leaders in the state for raising, receiving and collecting funds to fuel separatist and terrorist activities and entering into a larger conspiracy for causing disruption in Kashmir Valley and for waging war against India.
The agency has so far charge-sheeted 13 accused, including leader of Jammat-ud Dawah Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, head of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin, seven separatist leaders, two hawala conduits and some stone-pelters.
Have busted ‘Shuara-e-Zindan’ inside jails: Police
Srinagar, Jun 16: The Jammu and Kashmir Police has busted ‘Shuara-e-Zindan’ (supreme council for jail), a term used by militants for governance inside prisons, and restored the prison manual completely, officials said here.
After the escape of Naveed Jatt, a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant, last February, the Jammu and Kashmir prison department under the leadership of Dilbagh Singh took a series of measures to “sanitise” prisons, including shifting all hardcore militants from the Srinagar Central Jail.
“A complete analysis of the prisoners was carried out and the message was loud and clear that the hold of terrorists inside the prison needs to be broken and rule of law needs to be implemented,” says Singh, who recently relinquished the post of Director General of Prisons, said.
However, he did not elaborate further on the measures carried out and said “we have only ensured that hardened militants and separatists are segregated from those who are first-timers and have a scope of improvement.”
However, the officials in the state prison department said after Singh took charge, raids and searches were carried out regularly and militants were shifted to other jails in Jammu and Udhampur.
Two cases were registered at Rainawari police station which includes the one where militants were operating “Shaura-e-Zindan” inside the jail which used to decide allotment of barracks and other amenities to the prisoners, the officials said.
The ‘Shaura-e-Zindan’ used to provide facilities to the prisoners based on their experience in the field of militancy, which includes food of their choice and other facilities, they said, adding Ashiq Hussain Faktoo, serving life sentence, was the supreme commander of this group.
Now, after the crackdown and repeated searches, all private kitchens operating inside the jail premises, have been shut and all inmates queue up to the common ‘langar’ where they are served food, they said.
There was a report in December 2017 that “sermons are given on Jehad…The basic tenets of religion are overlooked and emphasis is laid on radical aspects. Such religious sermons have a deep psychological impact on inmates and youths in particular who develop inclination towards joining militancy or getting recruited as overground workers (for militants).”
It said the jail, which is expected to act as a correctional facility, is “instead being used as a place of religious indoctrination and militant recruitment”.
“It is being observed that even petty criminal who spend some time in jails are today coming out as highly indoctrinated individuals with religious motivation to support or even join militant ranks,” it said. However, Singh ensured that there is a segregation of prisoners and people arrested for charges under terrorism or separatism are treated with higher degree of caution and separated from inmates arrested for petty crimes.
Two militants killed in Achabal gunfight
Srinagar:Two militants were killed on Monday in a gunfight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, police...
Forget about numbers, every word you say is valuable to us: PM to opposition
New Delhi:At the start of the first budget session of NDA 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi struck a conciliatory note...
Israel moves to name Golan settlement after Trump
RAMAT: The Trump name graces apartment towers, hotels and golf courses. Now it is the namesake of a tiny Israeli...
Army officer among 3 soldiers injured in ongoing Achabal gunfight
SRINAGAR — Three soldiers including an army officer were injured in an ongoing encounter with militants at Bidoora village in...
VIDEO| 2 houseboats go up on flames in Nigeen Lake
Srinagar, Jun 17: In yet another tragic incident of its kind, two more houseboats went up in flames at Nigeen...
Gunfight starts in south Kashmir’s Achabal
Anantnag, June 17 : A gunfight has started between militants and government forces in Badoora village of Achabal belt of South...