Kathua rape and murder: Crime Branch rules out pressure in arresting ‘mastermind’


Says law will take its course

Srinagar, March 13: Crime Branch on Tuesday ruled out any pressure in arresting the ‘mastermind’ behind the gruesome rape and murder of 8-year-old Kathua girl, underlining that the law will take its own course.

Inspector General of Police Crime Branch Syed Afadul Mujtaba told news agency GNS that the mastermind will be arrested “as and when investigation deems so.”

“No pressure. Nothing. Law will take its own course,” Mujtaba replied to a question by GNS whether there was pressure exerted on any quarter on the investigating agency.

When GNS took the concerns of people as to why the ‘mastermind’ behind the ghastly rape and murder was not arrested hitherto, the top officer of the Crime Branch said: “He will be arrested. It is for the investigation agency to arrest, not to arrest.”

On Wednesday, Jammu and Kashmir high court is likely to hear a plea on the gruesome rape.

The investigations have revealed that it was not a random crime but a part of a wider conspiracy to dislodge the Bakarwal community from the Rassana village in Kathua. The Crime Branch has also identified the mastermind, Sanji Ram, who it said has been bent upon to dislodge the nomad community from Rasana Village.

“The mastermind behind the entire game was bent upon dislodging the Bakarwal community and in order to execute the nefarious design, he hatched conspiracy with (others),” the SIT submitted in a status report submitted before the high court last week.

Asifa Bano had been missing since January 10 when she failed to return home from watering horses in her native Rassana forests, and her body was found on January 17.

The next day, after protests rocked the area, the Kathua police had said that an SIT under SDPO border, had been set up to investigate the case and a medical report of the murdered girl was expected within a couple of days.

On January 20, the government transferred the Station House Officer of the Hiranagar police station, ordering a magisterial probe, and three days later, on January 23, handed the case over to the Crime Branch. (GNS)