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Kathua rape-murder: Demand for transferring case to CBI growing louder

Several social and political organisations in Jammu have demanded that the case should be transferred to the CBI for fair investigations

SP Sharma | Jammu |

The demand for transferring to CBI the investigation of the rape-murder case of a minor girl in Kathua is becoming louder with the “tainted” past of two officers of the crime branch of the J-K Police and the crime being given a communal colour by vested interests. The crime branch is investigating the incident and has filed the charge sheet in the court.

One of the members of the investigating team was reportedly arrested in 2007 for his alleged involvement in two dubious cases. One of these cases pertained to murder of a youth and the other was of rape of the sister of the killed youth during her illegal detention. The police officer remained in custody from October 2009 to 2011 but was subsequently acquitted by the court last year.

The other officer of the crime branch, who is among those police officers investigating the case, was suspended from service after some vital evidence went missing from his possession in a corruption case.

Several social and political organisations in Jammu have demanded that the case should be transferred to the CBI for fair investigations as they did not have any trust in the probe being done by the crime branch team that includes tainted officers.

Although Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is fully supporting the crime branch investigations, but the BJP which is her coalition partner has questioned involvement of tainted officers in the investigations.

BJP spokesman Sunil Sethi recently expressed concern over one of the members of the investigating team having faced allegations of murder of a boy and rape of his sister who was in illegal custody of the police. With such officer having been included in the investigations of the rape-murder case, it raises doubts about fairness of the investigation, he had said.

Harshdev Singh, chairman of the Panthers Party and Rajiv Chuni, president of the SOS association of POK refugees, have also questioned the fairness of the investigations and demanded that the case be transferred to the CBI.

A complete shutdown was observed in Jammu a few days ago in support of the demand.

Two policemen arrested in connection with the case have alleged that “manipulated” evidence might have been planted in the Devisthan by the crime branch team.

The main accused, Sanji Ram and his son Vishal Jangotra have also sought transfer of the probe to the CBI as they claimed they were “falsely implicated in the case”.

Two ministers of the BJP, Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga have already lost their ministerial berths for participating in a rally of the Hindu Ekta Manch that was spearheading an agitation for CBI probe into the incident.

Lal Singh continues to organise rallies in different parts of Jammu in support of his demand for handing over the case to the CBI.