Asifa Bano, an 8-year-old girl went missing at around noon when her father went out to take horses for water. Their eight-year-old daughter was found dead a week after she went missing. The family says the little girl was abducted, held captive for a week and raped before she was murdered. The police say they are waiting for the post-mortem report before commenting on motive behind the murder.
“Local guys are involved. There is no outsider. She was murdered, the girl was raped. She was raped,” said the maternal uncle of the girl.
The girl’s 40-year-old mother too believes the murderer is someone in the neighbourhood.
“Someone in the village abducted her. Otherwise, how did she disappear? Someone from the village is involved,” she said.
The nomad girl had gone missing on January 10. The family says they couldn’t trace her after searching the entire area. On Wednesday, the body was found deep inside bushes – more than a kilometre from her home. There were serious injuries on her face and the body.
“Youth in the village abducted her and the family is scared to speak against them because they fear that they may be driven out of the village,” said a relative, adding, “If a little girl is not safe, how is any woman safe here.”
The state women’s commission chairperson Nayeema Ahmad Mehjoor visited the family and said even as they will wait for the medical report, prima facie suggest a case of rape and murder.
“They are quite sure that she was molested and raped. The body was taken to the hospital and we are waiting for the medical report,” said Ms Mehjoor.
Family Alleges Non-Seriousness By Police
The family of the 8-year-old minor girl expressed anger over the attitude of the concerned police station after they approached them with a written complaint.
“Asifa Bano daughter of Mohammad Yousuf Pujwala, a resident of Rasana, Hiranagar, Kathua had taken horses to drink water in the neighbouring area at around 12 noon on January 10”, Tufail Ahmad, a relative of the victim told GNS news agency.
As she did not return back till late in the evening, parents called several relatives about Asifa’s whereabouts, Tufail said.
“On the next day, we approached concerned police station Hiranagar with a complaint regarding the case but the policemen in the station did not took the matter seriously”, Tufail claimed.
The Bakerwal nomads in their area belong to minority community are not being treated well by the rest of the population, he alleged.
He said that they called their relatives about the missing of their minor girl and started searching on their own.
“We searched all areas but did not found her. Yesterday morning a traveller who was grazing animals called us and informed about the lying of the girl’s body.”
Tufail added: “We approached there and called the police who then reached the spot and took the body to Kathua hospital for postmortem”.
Meanwhile, Tufail said that they along with their relatives’ stage protest demonstration on Kathua highway and demanded action against the accused.
The wailing family urged the government to nab those responsible for brutal killing and hang them ultimately.
Police has registered a case under FIR no. 10/2018 under section 363 RPC in police station Hirinagar.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Suleman Choudary said: “We are awaiting a medical report regarding rape or otherwise. The FIR has been converted to 302 RPC (murder). The medical report is expected in a couple of days, he said further.
The officer also refuted the family’s allegations and said that on the day the concerned police station received the complaint, the cops started investigations into the case.
“If the family of the victim claimed any non-seriousness by the police station, I will look into it and if any lapses found on their part and action will be initiated accordingly,” he said, adding, “To solve the murder of the minor girl, we have constituted a SIT headed by SDPO border Kathua.”
The incident has shocked the nomad community in Kathua. Some have posted videos on social media asking people to seek justice for the murdered girl.
With inputs from various news sources.
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