News

Asifa Rape-Cum-Murder Case: Ten Developments

The crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police on Monday filed a charge sheet against seven accused in rape-and-murder case of eight-year-old Asifa Bano in Kathua district despite resistance from lawyers.

“We have filed charge sheet against seven accused persons and charge sheet against a juvenile person will be filed separately,” GNS news agency quoted IGP Syed Afhadul Mujtaba as having said.

Body of eight-year-old girl from the Bakarwal community was recovered from Rassana forest on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area.

Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police files charge sheet against seven accused in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Kathua on Monday

Lawyers affiliated to Jammu High Court Bar Association resorted to hooliganism to prevent the crime branch from filing the charge sheet. Police had to rush reinforcement to facilitate the entry of Crime Branch officials into the court.

DNA reports revealed that the girl was held captive at Devasthan Temple in Rassana where she was gang raped before being strangulated to death.

“Shame on them and their political master”, wrote Omar Abdullah on Twitter after the lawyers’s protest. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also berated the lawyers for being prejudiced.

On January 23, the government handed over the case to the crime branch of state police which formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and arrested eight persons, including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a head constable, in connection with the case. The head constable was charged with destruction of evidence.

Among the accused, former revenue official and the alleged conspirator Sanji Ram (60) surrendered before the crime branch on March 20 after his son Vishal was arrested from Uttar Pradesh.

Asifa (left) and accused Deepak Khajuria (right)

The women of Rassana village have staged a fast-unto-death protest to demand transfer of the case to the CBI

Though the incident sent shock waves across the state, several parties including Jammu High Court Bar Association (JHCBA) and National Panthers Party (NPP) supported the demand for a CBI probe which, however, was turned down by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

The JHCBA is on strike since Thursday in support of various demands including handing over the Kathua rape-cum-murder case to CBI, a demand which was also highlighted by women relatives of the accused who are on an indefinite hunger strike since March 31.

To Top