Mehbooba Mufti promises to bring law to ensure death penalty for those raping minors
In a bid to avoid a repeat of the Kathua rape and murder case, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said the Jammu and Kashmir government will introduce a new law to ensure death penalty for those raping minors across the state.
While reassuring justice for the eight-year-old girl who was brutally gangraped and murder early this year, the CM said on Twitter, “I want to assure the entire nation that I stand committed not just to ensure justice for the minor girl but also seek exemplary punishment for those responsible for a crime whose brutal savagery has shamed humanity.”
She added, “We will never ever let another child suffer in this way. We will bring a new law that will make the death penalty mandatory for those who rape minors, so this case becomes the last.”
The CM’s remarks came at a time when the government is facing flak from all quarters over the probe into the case. Earlier in the day, the CM said proper procedures will be followed to ensure justice is served and the perpetrators are punished. “The Law will not be obstructed by the irresponsible actions & statements of a group of people. Proper procedures are being followed, investigations are on the fast track & justice will be delivered,” she said.
On the other hand, amid demands for an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), state Directorate General of Police (DGP) S P Vaid said the Jammu and Kashmir police has no objection to hand over the case but it is as competent as any investigation agency to handle it. “If we can we fight terrorism and stone pelting, why can’t we carry out a professional investigation. Our officers are on deputation with the CBI,” Vaid said, while backing the crime branch team that have arrested eight persons till now.
The DGP also rejected as “misconception” claims that the crime branch team probing the matter had no member from the Jammu region while emphasising that police officers perform their duties rising above regional or religious identities.
A Bakherwal Muslim girl went missing from her house in Rasana on January 10. She was allegedly gangraped repeatedly inside a “devsthan” (prayer hall) and kept sedated for hours. According to the chargesheet filed by the police, minutes before she was killed, one of the accused asked the killer to wait so that he could rape the girl one last time. The girl was then strangled and hit on the head twice with a stone — “in order to make sure,” she was dead. Her body was found dumped in the forests nearby, seven days later.
Meanwhile, the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has decided to hold a special meeting on Saturday to discuss the present status and the role of its alliance, the BJP, in the case.