J&K Crime Branch is going to intensify its probe into the alleged rape and murder of a minor girl, after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti refused to hand over the case to CBI in a meeting with BJP ministers from Jammu. According to the sources privy to the meeting, an angry Mehbooba Mufti told them that she has asked the police to arrest anyone who is behind this heinous crime. 

The alleged rape and murder of a nomad girl has taken a new turn as the Hindu Ekta Manch has intensified its agitation—the police had to use force to disperse them. Earlier two ministers belonging to the BJP, Choudhary Lal Singh and Chandar Prakash Gupta, attended a protest rally by this organisation and warned the police not to arrest anyone in connection with the rape and murder of the girl. Sources privy to the development said that the BJP lawmakers and ministers in Kathua and Samba districts have told their supporters to intensify the agitation and ask for the release of all the accused arrested so far by the Crime Branch.

The Crime Branch sleuths in their report to the state home department have said that the conspiracy was hatched weeks before the crime and was meant to drive out “Muslim nomads from the Hindu dominated Rasana village of Hiranagar”. The Crime Branch said in its report that it has evidence that the drugs used to sedate the victim was brought by one of the arrested cops from a medical shop from Kathua much before the victim was kidnapped.  The Crime Branch is likely to make more arrests, including of some BJP activists, sources privy to the investigation told this newspaper. Among those who are likely to be arrested are Sanji Ram, a retired government officer who is presently spearheading the protests by the Hindu Ekta Manch. 

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