Srinagar: In a new turn of events to the ongoing probe into the rape and murder of a minor girl in Kathua, Union Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh has said there was no harm in having a CBI probe into the case, Tribune reported.
He has also made a veiled attack on Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for making “judgemental remarks,” saying, “We have courts to decide about someone’s crime,” the report quoted Singh as saying.
“No politician or any official, at any high position, has right to make judgemental remarks on such sensitive issues. We have courts to decide as to who is culprit and who is innocent. It is not the job of any official or politician to make such remarks,” Jitendra Singh was quoted in the report as saying.
The Union minister, who is the Member of Parliament from the Kathua-Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat, said, “If people feel that they don’t have faith in the police or Crime Branch investigation and the case needs to be handed over to the CBI, I don’t think, there is any problem in handing over the case to the CBI. If the state government does so and recommends it to the Centre, we will definitely act on it.”
“Appalled by the marches and protests in defence of the recently apprehended rapist in Kathua. Also horrified by their use of our national flag in these demonstrations, this is nothing short of desecration. The accused has been arrested and the law will follow its course,” the Chief Minister had tweeted on 15 February. Her statement had come under a sharp criticism with local people alleging that it would influence the investigation into the case.
Pertinently, the body of an eight-year-old tribal girl was found from a forest area in Rasana village of Kathua district on January 17, leading to protests in the Assembly and outside. The government first ordered the constitution of a Special Investigation Team and magisterial probe while the case was later handed over to the Crime Branch.
So far, a juvenile and two special police officers have been arrested in connection with the case. Local people, under the banner of Hindu Ekta Manch, took out a protest rally in Hiranagar, alleging that the Crime Branch was conducting “biased and lopsided” investigation under “political pressure” and demanded a CBI probe into the case.
The Kathua administration has imposed Section 144, CrPC, in Hiranagar sub-division, saying, “some people are formenting trouble by raising undue demands, which are not mandate of the district administration and such actions by these people are causing interference in the ongoing investigation as well as destroying the harmony in the district and hence undesirable.”