Political, religious and civil society groups in Jammu are demanding that the CBI probe the death of a 13-year-old girl from Chennai who was found hanging from a shower pipe at a leading lawyer’s residence on May 8. She was declared dead at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Governmental Medical College on May 26.

Panthers Students Union, Muslim Welfare Trust and child rights activists’ group ‘Voice for Rights’ on Thursday demanded an investigation either by the CBI or the State Crime Branch into the death, while alleging that the police were handling the matter “unfairly.” Earlier, they organised a candlelight demonstration at the Press Club in Jammu.

“Police don’t normally act with this alacrity,” Deepika Rajawat Singh, founder of Voice for Rights, said.

“Attempt to suicide” case

She told The Hindu how the police had swiftly filed an “attempt to suicide” case against the teenager within minutes but never questioned her custodians about the reason and abetment. The Labour Department has filed a matter of violation of the child and labour rights but, according to these groups, never called or questioned the accused.

“By its own records, police have not found any suicide note. How did they gather it was suicide? And if it was, why did a 12-year-old girl commit suicide? Who was responsible for the abetment,” MWT president Sheikh Zahoor asked.

He noted that a post mortem was conducted “on a war footing” in the evening of May 26 and nobody knew what subsequently happened to the body.

“Police told us that the body has been buried in a graveyard. We checked with all the Muslim graveyards in town and found that no such person was buried their fresh,” Mr Zahoor said. Police records mention the girl’s parents’ names as “Neetali and Saleem, residents of Lakshmipuram, Chennai.”

Deputy Inspector General of Police Jammu-Kathua range Shakeel Beg argued that the police could not act on anybody’s whims and presumptions.

“We have constituted a special investigation team for investigation. Her parents have not levelled any allegation against her custodian family. Medical examination says her hymen was intact and that no marks of violence were found on her body,” he asserted.

“It’s still an open case as post mortem report is awaited. If we get any evidence of crime, we will proceed accordingly,” the DIG said.

According to him, there was no substance in third party allegations that the girl was “raped and killed at the ICCU and her parents had been silenced with money”.