Asfina Bano the 8-year-old Kashmir girl who was brutally raped and murdered by 8 people in a temple.
And now she awaits justice; only it is being delayed.
In a shocking allegation, the lawyer of Asifa Bano has accused the president of the High Court Bar Association of harassment and threats for pleading the case of a minor girl.
Deepika Singh Rajawat told a leading magazine that Bhupinder Singh Salathia tried to stop her from appearing in the court for Asifa.
Jammu Bar Association has demanded that the case be transferred to CBI, saying they don’t trust the Crime Branch of J&K police which has investigated the case and presented a charge sheet against seven accused.
”I am not a Jammu Bar member,” Rajawat said. ”Knowing it well, Salathia tried to stop me and threatened me; he also used abusive language.”
She said Salathia warned her that he has the means to stop her.
”I have filed a complaint against him to the chief justice of the J&K High Court and the chief justice of the Supreme Court,” she said. She said she has demanded protection as she doesn’t feel safe.
”I am thankful to the chief justice of J&K High Court who has taken cognizance of my complaint and asked the security wing of J&K High Court to ensure I remain safe whenever I appear in the court.”
She said lawyers who are demanding a CBI probe into the case must understand that Crime Branch investigations were monitored by the High Court.
”The Crime Branch investigated the case in a fair manner,” Rajawat said. ”The High Court has passed orders in the case after periodically monitoring the investigations by the Crime Branch.”
”We all know the evidence of the crime was destroyed so what is the CBI going to do now?” she asked.
“If the Crime Branch is not investigating the case properly, they (lawyers) should have said it when the matter was sub judice,” she said.
Rajawat said they could have raised objections before the High Court or complained to the chief minister that the case is not being investigated properly.
”Calling a bandh and harassing people and the litigants is not the way,” she said, adding that the lawyers can fight it out in the court and prove their point rather hitting the roads.
On April 9, she wrote on Facebook, “Helpers in ladies bar room at trial courts have been directed not to offer me water by Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association.”
Watch ANI’s video below.
— ???? ????? (@RangaSiyaar) April 11, 2018
When asked about the alleged threats, SD Jamwal, Inspector General of Police, Jammu, said, “I’ve heard. But she [Rajawat] has not yet come to me or the SSP [Senior Superintendent of Police] about it. She needs to come to us if there is any such complaint.” Since no official complaint had been made, he said, the police had not given protection.
“The lawyers who are on strike right now need to understand one thing – that this case was monitored by High Court. Knowing it well, still, they demand that CBI should investigate it,” said Rajawat. “We all know that at the initial stage, evidence was destroyed. What is the CBI going to do now?” She added that the lawyers are aware of remedies and should have tackled this at the initial stages before the High Court or the chief minister, instead of taking to the roads or harassing people and litigants.
“They are lawyers, they know how the cases go ahead, ” said Rajawat. “They can come to the court, they can plead their case well. If they are innocent, if the crime branch has not investigated the case properly or fairly, they can prove themselves innocent in the court. Instead of taking to the roads and pleading for CBI inquiry. They need to wait, they need to have patience. They need to go to the court and say ‘Look, sir, we are innocent. Please, sir, test me’,” she added.
On Wednesday, the Jammu High Court Bar Association had called for a bandh in Jammu after the police registered an FIR against lawyers who tried to prevent them from filing a charge sheet in the Kathua rape and murder case. Before that, members of the Kathua Bar Association had staged a protest outside the district court in Jammu to prevent members of the state police from filing a charge sheet before the chief judicial magistrate.
One of the lawyers said, “We have been opposing this since day one.” They alleged that the investigation by state police was not fair, and demanded a probe by the CBI – the same demand was made by the Hindu Ekta Manch, a new group formed in Kathua in January 2018 to protest against the arrests of the accused in the case.