Jammu: Even as the Chief Minister rejected the BJP demand for CBI probe into Kathua rape case, police on Thursday baton-charged and tear-gassed protesters during a march taken out by the Dogra community demanding ‘fair’ investigations into the rape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district.
Mehbooba Mufti is reported to have turned down the BJP’s demand for a CBI probe into the incident.
Mufti told that 95 per cent of the probe has been completed in the case, Minister for Health Bali Bhagat told reporters at a press conference here.
“The Chief Minister told us (a delegation of BJP ministers) that the investigation into the case has been completed by over 95 per cent. She said in a day or two the crime branch will submit the chargesheet and then the court will accordingly take a view of it,” Bhagat said.
Earlier in the day, several people were injured in the police action and the clashes that followed on Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Chadwal area. One person was reported critical after he was hit by a bus during the protest.
Thousands of Dogra community members had taken out “Ekta Yatra” demanding a CBI investigation into the matter and to protest the mass detention of youngsters by the police. The protesters allege that crime branch officials were harassing members of a particular community in connection with the case.
The minor girl’s body was recovered from a forest area on January 17, a week after she had gone missing. On January 23, the government handed over the case to the crime branch of the police, which arrested two Special Police Officers for their alleged involvement in the abduction and killing of the girl.
A special investigation team later also arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with the case.
On Thursday, a large number of police personnel were deployed in the area fearing trouble during the protest. The protesters raised slogans against Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the BJP, and the police and the crime branch.
When the protesters disrupted traffic on the highway, the police resorted to teargas shelling and baton charge to disperse them, leading to clashes between them.
“The protest rally has been dispersed and the traffic has been restored,” a police officer told PTI. He said the injured have been admitted to Government Medical College hospital in Jammu.
The officer said one person was hit by a vehicle and was critically injured. The vehicle’s driver has been detained.
The police said they had to baton charge the protesters to clear the highway. However, the protesters alleged that the policemen there pushed a person and he came under the vehicle.
On January 23, six days after the minor girl’s body was recovered, the Jammu and Kashmir government had handed over the case to the crime branch of the state police. The crime branch arrested a Special Police Officer (SPO) for his alleged involvement in the abduction and killing of the girl.
State Times News
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