The Jammu and Kashmir Police said on Monday that preliminary examination of a youth accused of raping a three-year-old girl in Sunbal area of Bandipora district showed that he is not a minor. “We are treating the accused as an adult and not as a juvenile,” said an unidentified senior police officer, according to PTI.
“The doctors have given an opinion that he is around 20-years-old,” the officer said.
The alleged incident took place on May 8. The accused allegedly lured the child with candy, abducted her and then raped her. The accused has been produced before the court and sent to police remand.
The police have also detained the principal of a school who had issued a birth certificate for the accused, in which his birth date is written as July 23, 2009. “The principal is under the custody and is being questioned,” the officer said.
The alleged incident had triggered massive protests in the Valley on Sunday and Monday. Several people were injured in the demonstrations.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik asked religious leaders of several communities to appeal to the people to remain calm and not let “anti-social elements disturb peace and harmony in the society”, the Raj Bhawan said in a statement, according to the Hindustan Times.
Malik on Monday ordered the Special Investigation Team to complete its inquiry on a priority basis. He had directed the Kashmir divisional commissioner and Inspector General of Police to personally monitor the investigation.
Both National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti condemned the alleged incident. Mufti, in a tweet on Saturday, had said that the guilty should be stoned to death under the Islamic Sharia.
The accused’s family has been asked to leave the village, The Indian Express reported quoting an unidentified neighbour. The accused’s family claimed they would kill him if he was found guilty, the child’s aunt said. However, the child’s family dissuaded them from doing so, she added.
Schools and colleges in several places in the state remained closed on Tuesday, Greater Kashmir reported. “Degree college and higher secondary schools in Baramulla and Sopore town will also remain closed,” Baramulla Deputy Commissioner of Police GN Nabi Itoo said. All government institutions in Sonawari administrative division were also shut.
Classwork at government degree colleges and higher secondary schools remained suspended in Anantnag and Bijbhera towns of Anantnag district. Classwork was also suspended at Government Degree College in Shopian. However, Srinagar Deputy Commissioner of Police Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said all educational institutions would continue to operate in the city.