SrinagarEight-year-old Asifa Bano was forced-fed a toffee-like substance called mannar to sedate her before being raped, Crime Branch investigations into the case have revealed.
Contrary to his earlier claims in custody, Shubam Sangra, whose identity the police had kept secret on the plea that he was a minor, had been part of the rape, sources said.
Sangra, whom a medical examination has now proved to be an adult, was assisted in force-feeding the child by two of the accused, namely SPO Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar
After being fed the sedative, the victim fell unconscious and thereafter was raped by Shubam. Subsequently they took her to Devasthan situated in the forest area of village Rasana where she was kept in confinement till 14-01-2018, the Crime Branch has said in its status report submitted in the High Court.
In an astounding turn, 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 has said.
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.
NC Takes Out Rally,Says Attempts Being Made To Shield Culprits
The opposition National Conference (NC) took out a protest march here on Saturday against attempts being made to shield the accused in the Kathua rape-and-murder case of an 8-year-old girl.
NC leaders and workers, led by party general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, assembled at the party headquarters Nawa-e-Subha here and marched to Chief Minister Mehbooba Muftis residence at Gupkar, a party spokesman said.
He said the march was taken out to protest the brazen and shocking attempts that have been made to shield the accused individuals in the heinous and barbaric Kathua rape-and-murder case and to seek answers about the mishandling of the case under apparent political pressure from some quarters.
Speaking on the occasion, Sagar said the government had shown shocking and shameful insensitivity towards the heinous tragedy in Kathua and it was a blot of shame that two cabinet ministers participated in a rally that aimed to shield the culprits by mounting political pressure on the investigation.
It was shameful that the state government and the district administration couldnt even facilitate her burial in her own village as goons attacked the family forcing them to bury her in a neighbouring village.
Following this tragedy, the revelation that evidence was destroyed clearly indicates towards a deep-rooted conspiracy being hatched at the highest quarters to save the culprits and the participation of two cabinet ministers in the Hindu Ekta Manch event raises a lot of questions in this context, the NC general secretary said.
He also lashed out at the state government and the chief minister for an abject failure to take the Shopian FIR to any conclusion and said the state government had been ridiculed by the central government which had filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the FIR filed by the J&K government.
Hindu Ekhta Manchs Active Member Mastermind
Social activist Talib Hussain, who is fighting for justice to Asifa Bano, the 8-year-old who was raped and murdered last month, on Saturday said that active member of the Hindu Ekhta Manch has turned out to be the mastermind behind the gruesome incident.
Hussain, who was arrested by police for protesting against the gruesome incident, also demanded action those violating section 144 CrPC by organizing large rallies. Hussain, who is also related to the victim family, also expressed satisfaction over crime branch investigation monitored by the high court even as he demanded the arrest of the mastermind sans any further delay.
We are satisfied with the investigations carried by the crime branch under the supervision of the high court, Hussain told news agency GNS.
He said Ekhta Manch was formed to prevent the arrest of its active member and mastermind of the crime.
The Crime Branch which has done a commendable job so far shall arrest the mastermind and should not fear any protests by Ekhta manch, he said.
He added: See the height of the things. The mastermind, being in-charge of a temple namely Devisathan temple, kept the victim inside the temple for few days. And fearing any protests by the Hindu Ekhta Manch, authorities should not bow before them and should arrest him. Law is equal for everyone and such people need to be punished.
Meanwhile, Hussain said that the Government should take serious action against people who according to him are defying the section 144 Crpc imposed by the government in Kathua district.
The members of the Ekhta manch are violating the law on the behest of few cabinet ministers and are openly terrorizing the people in Chadwal, Kotah, Hussain said and asked why no action was being taken against the people who defy the law.
He said Vijay Kumar Sharma, president of the Hindu Ekhta Manch, is openly issuing communal statements and terrorizing a particular community. Action should be taken against such people, he said. The investigation by Crime branch into rape-and-murder of the 8-year-old has revealed that the person claimed to be juvenile was actually an adult and that it was not an ordinary crime but was in consonance with a large conspiracy to dislodge Bakerwal (nomad) community from Rasana Village in the district.
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