'Have faith in police, probe will be foolproof'

Deputy Inspector General of Police (North Kashmir) Mohammad Sulieman Choudhary said on Monday that investigation into the alleged rape of a minor girl in Bandipora will be foolproof.

“People should have faith in us,” he told reporters and added that they have already constituted a Special Investigation Team comprising senior police officials and prosecuting officers who were collecting evidences “bit by bit”.

“The case will be investigated in a professional manner. I also personally visited Sumbal and SSP Bandipora is also stationed in Sumbal from the past few days,” he said.

Choudhary said that for the past few days, protests had been held in several areas neighbouring the place where the alleged crime occurred because the protesters had doubts regarding the age of the accused, especially after a school principal issued a certificate about his age.

“The certificate issued by the school principal and subsequently shared on social media is not authentic. We have taken cognizance of this and the principal of the school and others involved in this are being questioned,” he said.

He said when the incident was reported to police on May 8, the accused was immediately arrested and has been in police custody since.

“I appeal to the people not to indulge in violence,” he said.

Meanwhile, students of government girls higher secondary school Bandipora on Monday held a protest march against the alleged rape.

The students marched from Plan Bandipora to NowporaChowk, demanding exemplary punishment to the accused.

Protests were also held in Sumbal main chowk. The Traders Federation Sumbal and people from several localities of Sumbal including Nowgam, Inderkoot, Hajin, Gadkhud and Tularzoo assembled in Sumbal and held a protest. Women protesters blocked Srinagar-Bandipora road near Shilvat.

The protesters demanded justice for the victim and capital punishment to the guilty.

Choduhary also held a meeting with the village elders, requesting them to make efforts in restoring calm. Authorities have also imposed section 144 in the girl’s native place to prevent assembly of more than four people.

Mobile internet services also remained suspended on the second day in the district.