Uttarkashi rape-murder: Sr cop says police were under pressure to book Muslim men

The officer, speaking under the condition of anonymity, said people belonging to right-wing organisations wanted to incite communal tension in the area.

Updated: Sep 05, 2018 01:31:33

By Kalyan Das

A social activist protests against the rising incidence of rapes in the country at Hauz Khas village in New Delhi. (AFP File)

Days after a DNA test confirmed the role of a 22-year-old man in the abduction, rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in Uttarkashi district, a senior police officer has said the district police were under pressure to book four Muslim labourers in the case.

The labourers were detained with other suspects for questioning. But police later established that the accused, Mukesh Lal alias Bunty, raped and murdered the girl after abducting her on August 17 when she was sleeping at her house at a village in Uttarkashi district. Mukesh was known to the victim’s family.

After the incident, the locals have been holding rallies with some Hindu right-wing organisations, suspecting the involvement of some migrant people and demanding their removal from the area.

“There was great pressure from some right-wing and political organisations to book the Muslim labourers, obviously for their political interests,” said the police officer privy to the investigations into the case.

“People belonging to right-wing organisations wanted to incite communal tension in the area on the excuse of the incident,” he said on condition of anonymity. “Police didn’t buckle under the pressure and carried out investigations to nab the accused. The arrest ended the agitation.”

Additional director general of police, law & order, Ashok Kumar refuted political pressure on the police during investigations. He, however, said, “In the initial two days after the incident, much of the police force was deployed to maintain law and order in the area as there were agitations.”

Kumar said the Muslim labourers were detained for questioning after some locals informed the police that they were seen leaving the area on the day of the incident. “Later it was found that they were going home as per their plan to celebrate a festival,” he said.

“Police gathered scientific evidence to make the investigation foolproof. Body samples of some suspects were taken but they didn’t match during the DNA test. Only samples of Mukesh matched; he is now behind the bars.”

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress accused the BJP of “trying to disturb the communal harmony of the state by organising such agitations during a heinous crime.” Congress state president Pritam Singh said, “The BJP has been doing divisive politics. In the Uttarkashi incident, they jumped the gun and accused some migrant Muslim workers of being involved in the incident.”

Refuting the allegations, the BJP said the Congress does the “divisive vote-bank” politics. “BJP is above caste, creed and religion. No member of the party was behind any pressure on police to book anyone from any particular community. We had assured that thorough investigations would be made and accused would be nabbed,” said BJP state president Ajay Bhatt.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 01:31:06


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