Did Hindu Ekta Manch mastermind Kautha minor’s rape-and-murder?

Protesters demand justice for Asifa.

A social activist, who is leading the fight for justice to Asifa Bano, the 8-year-old who was raped and murdered last month, on Saturday says  that “active member” of the Hindu Ekhta Manch has turned out to be the mastermind behind the gruesome incident.

The activist Talib Hussain, who was arrested by police for protesting against the gruesome incident, also demanded action those violating government-imposed curbs by organizing large rallies.

“We are satisfied with the investigations carried by the crime branch under the supervision of the high court,” Hussain, who is a relative of Asifa’s family, said while expressing  satisfaction over the crime branch investigation– monitored by the Jammu and Kashmir high court– and  demanded the arrest of the mastermind.

He said: Hindu Ekhta Manch (United Hindu Forum)was formed to prevent the arrest of its active member and mastermind of the crime.

“The crime branch which has done a commendable job so far should arrest the mastermind and should not fear any protests by Hindu Ekhta Manch,” he said.

He added: “The mastermind, being in-charge of Devisathan temple, kept the victim inside the temple for few days. And fearing any protests by the Hindu Ekhta Manch, authorities should not bow before them and should arrest him. Law is equal for everyone and such people need to be punished.”

“Hindu Ekhta Manch is violating the law on the behest of few cabinet ministers and are openly terrorizing the people in Chadwal, Kotah,” Hussain said and asked why no action was being taken against the people who defy the law.

He said Vijay Kumar Sharma, president of the Hindu Ekhta Manch, is openly issuing communal statements and terrorizing a particular community. “Action should be taken against such people,” he said.

The investigation by crime branch into rape-and-murder of the 8-year-old has revealed that the person claimed to be juvenile was actually an adult and that it was not an ordinary crime but was in consonance with a large conspiracy to dislodge Bakerwal (nomad) community from Rasana village in the district.

Asifa Bano had been missing since January 10 when she failed to return home from watering horses in her native Rassana forests, and her body was found on January 17.

The next day, after protests rocked the area, the Kathua police had said that a SIT under SDPO border, had been set up to investigate the case and a medical report of the murdered girl was expected within a couple of days.

On January 20, the government transferred the Station House Officer of the Hiranagar police station, ordering a magisterial probe, and three days later, handed the case over to the crime branch.