Press Trust of india

DGP assures protection to victim’s family, witnesses

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Srinagar, Apr 13: Jammu and Kashmir Police chief S P Vaid today 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.

Vaid also defended the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Crime Branch, which has come under fire from Jammu lawyers, and said it had done a commendable job in investigating the rape and killing of the girl.

“Crime Branch has done a commendable job in investigating unfortunate rape and murder case of minor girl. They are very competent,” Vaid told reporters.

While demanding justice for the victim, the Bar Association of Jammu (BAJ) had yesterday claimed that the probe by the Crime Branch was carried out on “questionable” lines amid threats and coercion by a “team of officers from the Kashmir Valley, including one who served a jail term for alleged rape and murder of a minor”.

“Jammu and Kashmir Police is highly professional, and competent to investigate the case,” Vaid said.

Asked about alleged threats to the witnesses, including the family members of the victim, Vaid said here, “We will do whatever is required and take care of it. Nothing to worry about.”

On the demand by some people for a CBI inquiry into the case, the DGP 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.

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