Kashmir policeman detained, officer quizzed over rape-murder

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Jammu, March 8 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir Police has detained a policeman and taken a middle rung officer for questioning over the rape and murder of a minor girl in Kathua district that has strained ties between the ruling PDP and BJP.

The latest developments follow the earlier arrests of two Special Police Officers, Deepak Kumar Khajuria and Surinder Verma, as suspects.

Many senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have demanded that the case be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Peoples Democratic Party leaders, however, insist the Crime Branch would investigate the case. The Crime Branch took charge of the case from the local police following charges of shoddy probe.

Crime Branch sources said Head Constable Tilak Raj was detained and Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta called in for questioning over the rape and murder of eight-year-old Asifa, a nomad whose body was found in Hiranagar in Kathua district on January 17.

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Dutta was earlier the Investigating Officer of the case. The sources said crucial evidence in the case had been destroyed by the investigating policemen.

The sources said the clothes worn by the victim had been washed before handing these over to the Crime Branch.

–IANS

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