Srinagar, Publish Date: Apr 9 2018
The crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police on Monday filed a charge sheet against seven accused in rape-and-murder case of eight-year-old Asifa Bano in Kathua district despite resistance from lawyers.
“We have filed charge sheet against seven accused persons and charge sheet against a juvenile person will be filed separately,” news agency quoted IGP Syed Afhadul Mujtaba as having said.
At the time of filing of the charge sheet, some lawyers protested, leading to “law and order’ situation, sources said. Later police had to be called to the spot to tackle the situation, sources said.
“There was some resistance and that has been tackled. The charge sheet has been filed,” the IGP said.
The charge sheet has been filed few days after DNA test confirmed that the victim was held captive inside a temple before being strangulated after rape.
Body of eight-year-old girl from the Bakarwal 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 crime branch has 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.