Horrific Incident of Alleged Rape and Murder of 8-year-old Shocks J&K

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by Mufti Islah 

RASANA, KATHUA: Grief and fear have gripped the 40 odd Bakerwal families, of a tiny nomadic community, after an eight-year-old girl was mercilessly done to death, seven days after she disappeared mysteriously, one km down her hill house where she had taken the horses to a ditch. 

Her family is alleging that she was raped and tortured before her tiny body was dumped on a roadside. 

On Thursday, the issue rocked the state assembly in Jammu where members of opposition National Conference and Congress created an uproar. Members demanded a fair and speedy inquiry and justice to the family of the poor minor girl. 

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted saying she is outraged by the heinous incident and would get it investigated. 

Mohammad Yousuf, girl’s father, told News 18 that her modesty was outraged. She bore torture marks on her face and some other body parts, he said. 

“She was bitten on her lips. There were marks of violence on her thigh and face,” he cried, as dozens of mourners arrived at his home for condolence. 

His wife Naseema is inconsolable. Fighting back tears she said her daughter disappeared on January 10, after she had left the house in Rasana village to take the horses and mules to the ditch at around 12 o’clock just a km downhill. She was also looking for a mule. 

Faithfully Disowned

“When she did not arrive for an hour, I called her father to look for her. We kept searching until evening but could not find her. We started calling relatives but there was no trace of her,” she said. 

“We kept searching for her for last seven days and went to forests and villages around but she could not be found anywhere. We also approached the police but they took the issue very lightly,” Javeed Khan, maternal uncle of the girl told News 18. 

He said on January 17, a woman informed Yousuf that girl’s body was lying some distance away from his home.

“Police later arrived on the spot and her body was taken for a post-mortem. We buried her last night. People stopped traffic on the main Jammu-Pathankot highway seeking a probe in the incident.”

Khan said the women who gave the girl the ritual bath before her burial revealed she was raped and thrashed before she was done to death.

Nayeema Mehjoor, the chairperson of the state’s top woman body, visited the victim family and expressed anguish. She promised a fair investigation. 

She said police have lodged a murder case but are awaiting her post-mortem report.

“That report will only confirm how she was murdered and other allegations (of rape),” she said, adding that government has formed a Special Investigation Team to probe the case. 

Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter to express her outrage after the opposition had protested vociferously in the house. 

“Outraged by the heinous incident in which a young Bakerwal girl has lost her life. Incidents like this will be investigated expeditiously & the guilty will be punished,” she tweeted. 

Mufti Islah (TV News18)

Earlier, the proceedings of Jammu and Kashmir assembly were disrupted after opposition MLAs alleged minorities were harassed by the ruling PDP-BJP alliance in the state.

Abdul Rehman Veeri, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, said a special team had been constituted to crack the case. 

Not satisfied with the minister’s reply, the opposition walked out of the house raising slogans against the government.

Mufti Islah, a senior Srinagar based journalist works for News 18. The story appeared on the TV’s news web site, first.

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