Kathua Rape And Murder:DNA Test Confirms Asifa Held Captive Inside Temple

Srinagar—DNA tests of the nomadic girl raped and murdered in Jammu’s Kathua district in January this year have confirmed that she was held captive inside a temple before being killed, police officials said on Wednesday.

Top sources in the state police Crime branch said that the DNA of hair strands found inside the temple matched with those of 8-year old Asifa who was raped and subsequently murdered in Rasana village of Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua.

“The temple premises were searched for evidence and clues after one of the accused confirmed the the minor had been held in captivity inside the temple,” a Crime Branch sourc seaid.

The postmortem report of the victim has already confirmed that she had been sedated before being raped and murdered.

Sanji Ram, a retired official of the Revenue Department is believed to have masterminded the heinous crime to create fear among the nomad ‘Bakerwal’ (goatherd) community in the village so that they could be pushed out.

He is the custodian of the temple where the girl was allegedly held in captivity.

The investigating agency has so far arrested nine accused persons including the mastermind Sanji Ram and his son Vishal Kumar, a police head constable, two SPOs and a sub-inspector of police in connection with the crime.

The investigations had revealed that it was not a random crime but part of a wider conspiracy to dislodge the Bakarwal community from the Rassana village in Kathua. Sanji Ram has been bent upon to dislodge the nomad community from Rassana village, the probe said.

“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 before the high court last week.

The minor girl 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 a SIT, under SDPO border, had been set up to investigate the case.

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.

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