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Opposing charge-sheet in Kathua rape and murder unjustified: BJP

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

Srinagar, Apr 10: Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on Tuesday said that stopping the Crime Branch (CB) from filing the charge-sheet in Asifa’s rape and murder was “unjustified”.

“There were other ways, in case somebody was not satisfied with the investigation or the charge-sheet. He was free to approach the court or file a case for contempt,” Chief Spokesperson of the party, Sunil Sethi, said.

Asifa, an 8-year-old resident of Rasana village in Jammu’s Kathua district was abducted on January 12 from near her home.

Soon after, her body was recovered from a forest around 3 kilometres from her home, with the investigations held subsequently revealing that she had been raped and murdered possibly to ‘instill fear in the district’s minority community’.

Police Crime Branch has arrested policemen and others involved in the heinous act. However, the Hindu community has been protesting in support of the arrestees and demanding transfer of the case to the CBI.

On Monday, the lawyers tried to prevent the Crime Branch from filing the charge-sheet in the case. And now, Jammu Bar Association has called for Jammu Bandh on Wednesday.

The BJP Spokesperson said, “Now, there are great chances of the trial getting shifted to some other court.”

“The CB will now ask the court to shift the case to some other court for the smooth conduct of the proceedings.”

Asked about the shutdown call given by the lawyers, he said the decision was made in haste.

“This is a legal issue, and not a political one. The issue can be resolved through a court; there is no need to politicise the issue,” he said.

He said the decision to transfer the case to the CBI was to be taken by the court.

“We have full sympathy with the family of the victim,” he said.

General Secretary of the party, Ashok Kaul, said the incident should not have happened

“We have been saying from the first day that whatever happened was wrong .The culprits should be taken to task,” he said.

BJP’s State General Secretary, Narinder Singh, said every class of the society plays its role.

“Those who raped and murdered Asifa should be punished. We have sympathy with the family of the victim,” he said, however adding that “innocents should not be harassed”.

“We always maintained that the charge-sheet shall be filed as soon as possible,” he said.

The punishment to the culprits is the need of the hour so that no similar crimes could be committed in future.

“There were apprehensions about the enquiry that is why some people were asking for the CBI probe,” he said.