Kathua rape case: J-K DGP assures protection to victim’s family, witnesses

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Vaid said he was satisfied with the investigation carried out by the state Crime Branch, in spite of attempts to destroy evidence during the initial investigations.
Women shout slogans during a protest organised by the Delhi Commission for Women against the rape of an eight-year-old girl, in Kathua, near Jammu and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in New Delhi, India April 13, 2018.
Jammu and Kashmir Police chief SP Vaid on Friday asserted that all necessary steps will be taken to provide protection to the family members of the eight-year-old girl, who was raped and killed in Kathua, and the witnesses in the case.
His assurance came amid a nationwide outrage over the rape and killing of the girl.
“We will do whatever is required and take care of it. Nothing to worry about,” Vaid said when asked about alleged threats to the witnesses, including the family members of the victim.
On the demand by some people for a CBI inquiry into the case, the Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police said, “Only they (those demanding CBI probe) can answer this. Why they don’t have trust on the same J&K police which is fighting a war in Kashmir.”
Vaid said he was satisfied with the investigation carried out by the state Crime Branch, in spite of attempts to destroy evidence during the initial investigations.
“I am satisfied with the investigations and am sure the people who committed this heinous crime on an eight-year-old child must get severest possible punishment,” Vaid said.
“The state crime branch did a commendable job in spite of the fact that initially the investigation was not done in a professional manner. There were some attempts to destroy evidence,” he said.
The DGP noted that the police has taken action against its own personnel who were involved in the crime.
“We took action against our own two policemen — two SPOs — who were involved in this heinous crime. The Special Investigation Team of Crime Branch went about the investigation in a professional manner, systematically collecting evidence and scientifically pursuing the case. Now, they have produced the challan (charge sheet) in the court for judicial determination,” he said.
Vaid, however, refused to comment on whether any action would be taken against those people — including two state ministers — who attended a rally in support of the accused persons in Kathua.
The girl, who was from the nomadic Bakerwal Muslim community, disappeared near her house in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, on January 10. A week later, her body was found in the same area.
A Special Investigation Team, formed to probe the incident, has arrested eight people, including two special police officers (SPOs) and a head constable, who was charged with destroying evidence.

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