Hyderabad: While the country vents its anger against the culprits who gangraped and brutally murdered an eight-year-old girl in Kathua province of Jammu and Kashmir, the family of a 12-year-old girl who met an almost similar fate at the hands of a 22-year-old man, await justice.
The young girl, Huda Begum, was lured into a under construction house in Bhavaninagar in the Old City by one Dastagir. He allegedly molested her and when she resisted, he strangled her to death. The body was found three days later. The murder occurred in August 2015.
The present DGP M. Mahender Reddy, who was commissioner of police, Hyderabad, at that time had held a press conference and announced the arrest of the accused. Nevertheless, a year later, in October 2016, Dastagir was acquitted by the court leaving the police red-faced. The police had said that they would challenge the acquittal in a higher court but almost a year has passed and no appeal has been filed.
Inspector Y. Nageshwar Rao of the Bhavaninagar police, said, “The previous inspector did not challenge the acquittal in the court. I think there was no ground to challenge his acquittal.” Is this an admission that the wrong man was caught or evidence was poor?
At the press conference, Mr Reddy had told media persons that during the course of the investigation, the accused Dastagir had confessed that he tried to rape the girl, but when she raised an alarm, he strangulated her.
While Dastagir was acquitted of this heinous crime, a local court sentenced him to three years imprisonment in another case for assaulting a police constable when the latter went to apprehend him.
Unable to bear the trauma and the failure of justice, the family of little Huda Begum has moved away from the locality. Nevertheless, the local residents have not forgotten the case and the sight of the innocent girl lying dead in a water sump in a thickly populated area still haunts them.
“We had a lot of hope of getting justice for the girl. It never happened. If Dastagir was innocent, then who murdered the girl? Someone might have killed her,” says Ahmed Khan, a local resident.
A woman of the locality said that harsh punishment in the case could have been a lesson to those persons who resort to such shameful crimes, a timely reminder that failure to solve murder and rape cases only encourages these crimes....