Police resorts to lathicharge, many injured, detained

GJ Report
Jammu, Mar 8: Several protestors were injured, one person critically while over 100 persons were detained who were protesting demanding investigation of 8-year-old minor girl Asifa’s rape and murder case by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to sources two more policemen were arrested by the Crime Branch on Wednesday for allegedly destroying crucial evidences and the toll of arrested policemen swells to four.
However, police on Thursday morning resorted to lath-charge and also fired smoke shells to disperse hundreds of members of Hindu community demanding handing over of Asifa murder case to the CBI.
Shouting slogans, the protestors tried to block the Jammu-Kathua national highway near village Chadwal but police used force to disperse them.
One of the persons who was not a part of the protest but on his way while riding a two-wheeler, got trapped in the protest and was hit by a Jammu bound Punjab Roadways thus injuring him critically following which he was rushed to Ludhiana for specialised treatment.
Meanwhile police said that several people were injured in the action as members of Hindu community had taken out “Ekta Yatra” demanding a CBI investigation into the matter and staged protest against detention of youngsters by the police.
The protesters alleged that crime branch officials were harassing members of a particular community in connection with the case.
Contingent of police personnel was deployed on Thursday morning in the area sensing trouble and law and order problem during the protest.
The protesters also raised slogans anti-Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and anti-BJP slogans besides slogan against police and the crime branch.
Police to prevent blockade of the road, resorted to lathi-charge and smoke shells to disperse them, which led to clashes.
Activists of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party were also detained by the police before they could join the “Yatra”.
JKNPP state president Balwant Singh Mankotia who was among detainees at Dayalachak told reporters that the people of Jammu area want a CBI probe.
He claimed the crime branch officers belong to a particular community and expressed fears of harassment.
“These crime branch officers have harassed Hindus in the area in the name of probe, resulting in a large migration of Hindus from the area last week. It cannot be tolerated. We all want a probe by the CBI to arrest and punish the culprits,” said Mankotia.
One of the main accused of crime Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Verma both Special Police Officers have already been taken into custody with two more persons, including a 15 year old boy.
Jammu and Kashmir Police’s crime branch wing has arrested a police sub-inspector and a head constable for their involvement in destruction of crucial evidence.
Hawaldar Tilak Raj, posted at the Hiranagar police station and Sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who was the investigative officer of the case, has been detained for questioning, source added.
The body of Asifa, 8, 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, 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.
The locals however, demanded handing over of the case to the CBI claiming that innocents are being harassed to shield the main culprits.