Protest Erupts In Jammu And Kashmir Assembly Over 8-Year-Old Girl's Murder

The eight-year-old girl went missing on January 10. For a week, she was allegedly held captive inside a cowshed, raped and murdered before her body was dumped into a forest area, her parents say.

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Protest Erupts In Jammu And Kashmir Assembly Over 8-Year-Old Girl's Murder

The opposition raised slogans and demanded hanging of culprits in the girl's alleged rape and murder.

Jammu and Kashmir:  The murder and alleged rape of an eight-year-old girl is snowballing into a major political controversy in Jammu and Kashmir. Protests by opposition parties erupted in the assembly today after legislators accused the government of protecting the accused.

The opposition members raised slogans and demanded hanging of culprits. They also questioned the silence of the chief Minister over the issue.

They stormed the well of the house and forced the government to suspend the station house officer (SHO) of the area. The members demanded action against other police officials including, Senior Superintendent of Police of Kathua district.

Yesterday, the government had said that a 15-year-old boy, who had confessed to the crime, had been arrested. The eight-year-old girl went missing from Rasana village on January 10. For a week, she was allegedly held captive inside a cowshed, raped and murdered before her body was dumped into a forest area, the government said.

"Is it possible that a 15-year-old will do it all alone -- abduct a girl, hold her captive for week in the middle of the village, rape her and dump the body three kilometres away?" asked Usman Majid, Congress lawmaker.

He alleged that influential people involved in the gruesome crime are being shielded and the government is trying to hush up the case after the arrest of a juvenile.

There was a heated exchange of words between BJP members and the opposition after Rajiv Jasrotia, BJP lawmaker from Kathua, alleged that the opposition is trying to politicise the issue and give a regional colour to the crime.

"They either divide it on communal lines or regional lines. The shameful incident which happened is a family matter," said Mr Jasrotia.

The opposition said that BJP lawmaker is spreading lies. The accused belongs to different community and they don't want to name him because of communal sensitives.

Influential Gujar leader Mian Altaf said that investigations being conducted are unacceptable. "It's a shame. The government should punish all the culprits and take action against police men," said the senior National Conference leader said.

The government has already announced a magisterial inquiry. The family alleges that police never searched the village or questioned anyone until her defaced body was found.

The family told NDTV that they know the accused but because of fear they can't name them.

"The family is scared to speak because they fear that they may be driven out of the village," said Shariefa Begum. She said, "If a little girl is not safe, how is any woman safe here," she said.

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