Sources said the police want to have prosecuting officers from their own ranks but from a neutral faith to avoid further communal division
The rape and murder case of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in Kathua has got a new twist. The police has reportedly sought the appointment of two Sikh police officers as special prosecuting officers in the case.
“The J&K police want the Crime Branch case to be represented by Bhupinder Singh and Harminder Singh. While Bhupinder Singh is Chief Prosecuting Officer in the J&K police prosecution wing, Harminder Singh is Chief Prosecuting Officer, Samba,” The Indian Express reported today, quoting sources.
Director General of Police S P Vaid has already written to the Principal Secretary (Home) in this connection. “Yes, I have written to the Home department,’’ Vaid told the newspaper. “For me, they are police officers whose profession, and not religious identity, is important. In fact, the people who were opposing the Crime Branch investigation into the case were also trying to raise accusations against our team. I gave them the same answer.”
“Sources said the police want to have prosecuting officers from their own ranks but from a neutral faith to avoid further communal division,” the report added.
“So much communal politics has been played in Jammu over this case that the entire atmosphere is polluted. Those who are campaigning in favour of the accused have been questioning the Crime Branch probe only on communal grounds,’’ a police officer said.
The minor girl went missing from near her house in Rasana in Kathua on 10 January. Her body was found seven days later in the forests nearby. According to the police chargesheet, the girl was gangraped thrice inside the local temple, after the mastermind had “performed rituals”. One of the rapists was called from Meerut to “satisfy his lust”.
The girl was confined using sedatives, then strangled and hit on the head twice with a stone — “in order to make sure” she was dead. But not before another accused, a police personnel, asked the others to “wait because he wanted to rape” her one last time. And all this, to “dislodge” a group of Bakherwal Muslim nomads from Rasana, The Express added.