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Defying pressure, they stood firm on fair inquiry into Kathua case

Amid communally-surcharged atmosphere, there are police officers and members of the minority community, who did not bow to pressure and threats, and stood firm on speedy investigation into the alleged rape and murder of a minor girl in Rasana village of Kathua district.Their role has been hailed by social media users and civil society.To begin with the part of Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid has been widely commended for ensuring speedy investigation into the case. Despite the growing demand for a CBI probe, Vaid assured the people that the police was as competent as any other investigation agency to handle the case.The DGP has said the Crime Branch and the special team, which investigated the case, had done a professional job and had not spared even their colleagues, who had tried to destroy evidence.“In J&K Police or anywhere in the country, we work as police officers, we don’t work as Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs. All my officers are professional,” he said.An eight-year-old Bakerwal girl was allegedly kidnapped and held captive on January 10. The chargesheet said the girl was allegedly drugged and raped before being murdered.The role of Senior Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch), Jammu, Ramesh Kumar Jalla, who uncovered the crime, has also been appreciated. He worked on professional lines to crack the case despite many pulls and pressures from various quarters.The 59-year-old Kashmirir Pandit officer was supervising investigation into the case after it was entrusted with the Crime Branch following protests in the Legislative Assembly in January this year. Police sources said the SSP personally visited different places to collect evidence and connect the missing links as the “vital evidence was destroyed in the case.”Deepika Thusoo Singh, a lawyer, has been fighting a legal battle to provide justice to the victim. She is pursuing the case on behalf of the victim’s family in the J&K High Court that is monitoring the investigation.The 38-year-old Kashmiri Pandit has said “crime and criminal has no religion.” She admitted that she had been facing threats and working under tremendous pressure and social isolation with fringe groups asking her to drop the case.Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Rakesh Gupta’s stand not to support the shutdown called by the Jammu Bar Association also received applause from netizens. In the Jammu region, he, however, faced widespread criticism for his decision.Similarly, Rahul Pandita, a writer and journalist, relentlessly followed the case from the very first day and used cyber space “to deny propagandists their chance to weave their self-suiting narratives around this bone-chilling tragedy.”

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