Family demands arrest of Jammu minor’s rape-murder accused

Family demands arrest of Jammu minor’s rape-murder accused

Jammu: Investigators have named a retired revenue officer as the main accused in the rape and murder of a minor in Jammu and Kashmir but police have not arrested him, a relative of the victim said on Sunday.

Talib Hussain, also an activist of the nomad goatherd community, told reporters here that the Crime Branch in its status report submitted to the high court said the former revenue officer, Sanji Ram, may have raped and murdered eight-year-old Asifa in Kathua near Jammu.

The minor was allegedly kidnapped on January 10 and her body was found on January 17.

Hussain said the Crime Branch had said in the status report that Ram held Asifa captive inside a public facility called ‘Devasthan’ in Hiranagar area of Kathua district.

“Ram is the custodian of the keys of this public facility where the minor was held captive,” the activist said.

Sanji Ram has denied the allegation, saying he is not the only person who has the keys of the facility.

The incident shocked the entire state. After a public outcry, investigations of the case were transferred from local police to the Crime Branch.

So far, four policemen, including two Special Police Officers, have been arrested. The two others are a Sub-Inspector and a head constable. They have been accused of destroying the evidence by washing the clothes of the victim before handing them over to the Crime Branch.

According to the investigators, the minor was raped and murdered to drive away the tribal bakerwals from the area.

On the other hand, activists of the Hindu Ekta Manch have demanded that the investigation be handed over to the CBI. They have alleged that the Crime Branch was trying to frame members of only one community in the heinous crime.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has rejected the demand for a CBI probe saying the Crime Branch was competent enough to unearth the truth and bring the culprits to justice.