Rape and murder of minor girl puts Jammu and Kashmir on edge

The case of the rape and murder of an eight-year-old child, Asifa, has rocked the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The horrible crime took place in Kathua district in January this year.

The little girl was abducted, drugged, raped, and murdered in Rassana village. Her body was recovered from the forests a week later.

The girl belonged to the nomadic Bakarwal community and went missing while grazing horses in the forest.

Asifa was gangraped multiple times and given drugs to keep her unconscious.

The crime branch has filed a chargesheet. It names a retired government official, Sanji Ram as the main accused, along with four others.

One of them, Deepak Khajuria is a police officer in the Jammu and Kashmir cadre. His role in the crime has raised many questions.

What is disturbing is that the case has taken on a communal overtone. It has become a conflict point between the Hindu and Muslim communities.

Some local lawyers want the accused to be released. Other groups are demanding a CBI enquiry in the case.

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