The brutal murder and rape of a little girl is horribly politicised and communalised. It is a case of brutal violence but is being used as a tool to create divide among communities
Dr Ganesh Malhotra
People of Jammu demanding CBI probe in the Kathua rape and murder case
An obscure village Rasana of Kathua in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) has suddenly become headline nationally and internationally but for all wrong reasons. An 8-year-old nomad girl R/o Rasana village in Hira Nagar, Kathua had gone missing on January 10 and a week later her body was recovered with bruises, bite-marks on lips and bones of the arm and thigh broken. She was allegedly sexually assaulted before being killed. Police registered the case and started investigation. They arrested a juvenile and declared that the case was solved as he was involved both in the kidnapping and murder of the minor girl. Later the Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted to investigate the case and a SPO was arrested for his alleged involvement. This was followed by arrest of another SPO also. One more SIT was constituted. After the issue was raised in State Assembly the case was handed over to Crime Branch for investigation and new officers were introduced and assigned the case . One among them was himself accused of rape and murder charges few years back. Besides, the arrest of juvenile, two SPOs, a sub inspector and hundreds of local people particularly youth were interrogated by the police daily which created deep fears in the minds of people of many villages and they got compelled to migrate from their native places to save them from the apathy of crime branch. Two ministers visited that area to persuade people to return to their villages and assured them fair investigations but they were also termed as pro-rapists by vested interests.
One 8-year-old girl child was murdered and without trial the accused persons are being named as “Rapists”. In the modern day social media driven world suspects are pronounced guilty even before the investigations and trial.
The family members of the accused questioned how it was possible to keep a little girl in the cow shed as well as Hindu Devisthan as propagated in media and challan so long with no one noticing anything. So much talked “Hindu Devisthan” is worshiping hall of 300 sq ft of three villages having 3 doors and 2 windows. There are daily prayers in mornings and evenings by people of three villages and community lunch on every Sunday. The keys of doors of this one hall worshiping place lie with the people of three villages. So how can a girl be kept as captive for 5 days? A family member of an accused, who was packed up from Meerut informed that the boy was appearing for his exams in Meerut on the concerned dates. He has a proof like examination hall admit card as well as attendance sheet of the examination centre. Moreover the accused have not been allowed to meet their advocates even. Crime branch offered only monitored meetings between the accused and advocates which is clearly against Hon’ble Supreme Court guidelines. They were not provided the copy of challan, FIR and other related documents before first hearing. This also added to the apprehensions of accused persons. The other version is that the Biological parents of the victim had died under mysterious circumstances and she is the adopted daughter of Yusuf and Nasim. Yusuf himself was adopted by a woman Gulna who was the aunt (bua) of Yusuf. It is said that there is some property dispute behind the murder of the girl. It is also said that the adoptive parents did not love the girl and that’s why she was not sent to school where as the two sons were going to school. This version has not been investigated by police.
10 Lakh Penalty on Media houses
Media houses, having been issued notices for revealing the identity of the eight-year-old Kathua rape victim, apologised before the Delhi High Court and were directed to pay Rs 10 lakh each to the Jammu & Kashmir Victim Compensation Fund. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed that the compensation amount be deposited with the registrar general of the high court within a week and the money transferred to the Jammu & Kashmir legal service authority's account to be used for Jammu & Kashmir victim compensation scheme.
From day one, this Government has been compounding the pain of this grave tragedy and tormenting the victim’s family as well as other people of the area through its irresponsible, casual, insensitive and chaotic approach towards such a heinous crime that appears to have been perpetuated to instil fear and horror into the hearts and minds of victims family and creating divide in the society leading to a setback to communal harmony in that area.
Local residents should be praised for exercising restraint when the divisive forces are playing their dirty games to flare up tensions for their vested interests. They only demanded that Case should be handed over to the CBI for fair and transparent probe so that the perpetrator of the heinous crime was apprehended and booked under the law irrespective of any religion, caste and creed. Any further delay in the case would deny the justice to the bereaved family.
In order to remove all such confusions matter should be handed over to CBI in the larger interest of Justice. This is a calculated and well planned move of few vested interests to defame Hindus
But the demand of CBI probe was deliberately portrayed as Jammu demanding the acquittal of accused persons. Jammu was damned and demonised as supporting and siding with the rapists. How does the demand of CBI investigations mean siding with the accused? Some vested media houses did it deliberately after 3 months of occurrence of heinous crime to defame Jammu which is up in arms for deportation of illegally settled Rohingyas and a Govt meeting held to give immunity to land encroachments in the name of tribal welfare. This is a calculated and well planned move of few vested interests to defame Jammu.
Jammu is famous for being such a tolerant society which gave shelter to the migrants from POJK, Kashmir and West Pakistan. The civil society of Jammu has always proved its credentials of a tolerant society even at the worst situations in last 70 years of turbulence in J&K. So Jammu doesn’t require any certificate of tolerant society from such media houses. The brutal murder and rape of a little girl is horribly politicised and communalised. It is a case of brutal violence on a girl child but is being used as a tool to create divide among communities. In order to remove all such confusions matter shall be handed over to CBI in the larger interest of Justice to all.
(The writer is J&K based Strategic and political analyst)