Kathua rape and murder case: Media should be constructive, not get played by rumour mongers, say Police

Jammu: The police on Wednesday said that some vested interests are trying to communalize the situation to put pressure on the agency investigating the rape and murder of a minor in Kathua and “unfortunately some media organizations have also started playing into the hands of such trouble making elements.”

Reacting to a news report published in the Daily Excelsior, a spokesman of the Zonal Police Headquarters Jammu said that as has been misleadingly reported by the said newspaper.

“No migration has occurred in Hiranagar area and some women on the instigation of rumor-mongers and trouble-creators with vested interest had assembled near Higher Secondary School, Kootah and created an unnecessary scene. The women, however, returned to their homes on the intervention and assurance of the local administration,” he said.

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Excelsior had reported that “Following the atrocities by Crime Branch of Police and threat posed by some unscrupulous elements, 15 families migrated from Rassana village in Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua district today and took refuge under a Peepal tree near Government Higher Secondary School, Koota by violating Section 144 CrPC imposed by district administration some days back in the area.”

 “Unfortunately, some vested interests are desperately trying to polarize the situation in the area around this gruesome criminal act of the murder of an innocent girl,” he said and added that the Police had registered a case FIR No: 10/2018 in Police Station Hiranagar following the abduction and murder of the teenage girl in the area last month. He said the case was then transferred to the Crime Branch which is now investigating it professionally.

“It would have been particularly appropriate for the newspaper to contact the officials of the Crime Branch or local police administration before levelling the wild charges of harassment against the investigating agency,” he said.

Meanwhile, an official spokesman urged the media to report in a responsible and constructive manner in such sensitive situations in the spirit of professional ethics. He said the media organizations must realize that whatever the circumstances, it pays to keep faith with professionalism and ethics.

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“We are only playing into the hands of the disruptive elements instead of serving the larger public interest by publicizing such unsubstantiated news reports,” he said and added that it is extremely unfortunate if some of the reputed media organizations in the State also get into the divisive trap not only at the cost of their own credibility, but at the perilous cost of peace, tranquility and stability in the region.

“Instead of trying to influence the investigation on the behest of trouble-mongers, the media should allow the law and order machinery to work in a dispassionate manner to ensure justice in the case,” he said.

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