Talib Hussain, the activist who was fighting for justice in the gang-rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl in Kathua, was allegedly tortured in police custody. The Supreme Court today sent a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir after a relative of Mr Talib filed a petition alleging that he was being targeted for championing the cause of the nomad community and received life-threatening injuries during the torture.
The police claim he had attempted suicide while in custody. Talib Hussain was arrested a week ago after his estranged wife's sister-in-law accused him of rape.
Earlier, his estranged wife Nusrat Bibi had accused him of domestic violence and dowry demands and a case was filed against him in June. Claiming he had been framed, the activist filed a petition before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
But despite the court's orders against any arrest, Mr Hussain was arrested by a team of Samba Police on July 31 from Tral in the domestic violence case, according to Daily dairy report at Police Station Tral.
The same day, police in Samba, 300 km from Tral, claimed that Mr Hussain was arrested from the area in a rape case that was filed earlier that day.
Pointing to the distance between Tral and Samba, Mr Hussain's friend Iqbal Ahmed said: "In Tral, they arrested him in a dowry case. Exactly at the same time, they are showing Talib in Samba, where he is arrested on rape charges. Isn't this an open fraud by police?"
Talib Hussain's relatives claim the rape allegations are false because he was in Srinagar for more than two months and never visited Jammu during that period. As witnesses, they cite two police guards, who had been deployed for his protection.
"The complainant is a close relative of Talib's estranged wife. When they failed to prove that he was to be blamed in a domestic violence and dowry case, they tried implicating him in rape case," said Wajid Khatana, a nomad activist.
"Talib was first beaten and arrested on January 20 when he led a protest in Kathua. The right wings groups assaulted him during a live TV debate in Udhampur," he added.
The nomads claim Talib Hussain became the target of police and right wing groups in Jammu ever since he started campaign for justice in Kathua case, in which an eight-year-old girl from the Bakerwal community was kept in captivity, gang-raped, drugged, tortured and murdered. The horrific details of the case had triggered nationwide outrage.
The accused, however, got huge support from right wing groups, once it emerged that the crime was committed to scare off the nomads from Hindu-majority areas in Jammu.