Kathua Rape-And-Murder: 2 Cops Arrested For Destroying Evidence

Srinagar—J&K police’s crime branch has arrested a police sub-inspector and a head constable for their involvement in the destruction of crucial evidence.

Hawaldar Tilak Raj, posted at the Hiranagar police station, was arrested after it was prima facie established that he had washed Asifa's clothes that were soaked in blood and mud before sending them for forensic test. Sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who was the investigative officer, has been detained for questioning, reported NDTV

"We arrested a hawaldar and a sub-inspector is being questioned in connection with destruction of evidence," the report quoted director general of police, SP Vaid as having said.

Two Special Police Officers, Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, and a 15-year-old boy are in custody in the case involving the abduction, rape and murder of an eight-year-old Bakarwal girl in the Kathua district of the Jammu region in mid-January.

At a rally last week, commerce minister Chander Prakash Ganga and forest minister Lal Singh had openly likened the Crime Branch (CB) investigations to “jungle raj” and declared their support to the campaign to take the case out of the CB’s hands.

The Hindu Ekta Manch, which came into being around the time the police and the CB made its arrests, has so far taken out several rallies, some of them brandishing the national tricolour to denounce the investigations by state authorities.

The use of the flag had prompted a severe reaction from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who tweeted that it amounted to an insult to the tricolor and its desecration.

Both the state’s opposition parties, the National Conference and the Congress, however, have called upon the CM to take action against two of her cabinet colleagues who, they said, were working to polarize the district on communal lines by questioning the impartiality of the Crime Branch and accusing it of succumbing to “pressure from the other community.”

Asifa Banu, an eight-year-old Bakarwal girl had gone missing on January 10 from her home in the Rassana village in the Hira Nagar area of the Kathua district, and her body had been found on January 17, after which the police arrested one minor boy.

Two Special Police Officers, Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, were taken into custody subsequently when with mounting Bakarwal protests over the slow pace of the police investigation, the government first ordered a magisterial probe and later handed the case to the Crime Branch.

According to police authorities, the medical examination of the victim has confirmed that the child had been subjected to rape, and even drugged so as to prevent her from calling for help.

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