Jammu BJP, media & police gloat over arrest of Bakerwal activist

People who had rallied around the Kathua rape and murder accused have got even with the tribal activist who sought justice for the eight-year-old Bakerwal girl

Photo by Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Ashutosh Sharma

The extraordinary interest taken by BJP MLA Choudhary Lal Singh, newspapers in Jammu and a section of the police, all of whom went out of their way to protect the accused in the Kathua Rape Case in January, 2018, in getting Bakerwal activist Talib Hussain arrested on August 1 has raised doubts about their motives.

Talib Hussain was instrumental in raising and pursuing the abduction, gangrape and murder of the eight-year old Bakerwal child by a group of people including policemen and the son of a temple caretaker. It was Hussain’s tenacity that led to the issue being raised in the Assembly that finally resulting into the arrest of the accused.

Hussain himself, however, was arrested yesterday by Jammu Police under the Arms Act following an accusation of rape levelled by the sister-in-law of his estranged wife.

The police had been restrained from arresting Hussain by the J & K High Court in a case of domestic violence filed by his estranged wife. While the court order was issued on July 30, the sister-in-law of his wife filed a complaint of rape, committed allegedly a month and a half ago, on the very next day.

Within 24 hours Samba police arrested Hussain from Tral in Pulwama district, translated the complaint from Urdu into English, circulated it to the media and also booked Hussain under the Arms Act for possessing a meat chopper.

BJP MLA, Choudhary Lal Singh, had earlier told the local media that Hussain was part of the ‘Tukde-Tukde Gang’ , had connections with separatists, was responsible for several bomb blasts in Jammu and the attack on an army camp at Sunjwan in February. The video can be viewed here:

The Kathua rape case had polarised people on communal lines and the Jammu unit of almost all political parties including BJP had then sided with the accused, who were Hindus.

Amidst mounting tension and acrimony, the Supreme Court had transferred the trial of the case outside the state to Pathankot in Punjab.

Photo courtesy: social media 
Photo courtesy: social media 
A file photo of Talib Hussain addressing agathering of nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwals in Jammu and Kashmir

The sister-in-law of his estranged wife (her brother’s wife) in her complaint to the police claimed, “About one and a half months ago, I had gone to the jungle for grazing cattle. Talib Hussain—who is my relative—met me in the forest. He was armed with Tokka (a sharp-edged weapon) and with intention to rape, he thrashed me and pinned me to the ground. He put his finger in my private part. But I raised alarm and freed myself from him. Flashing the Tokka, he threatened to kill me if I told anyone about the incident.”

The complainant added, “due to fear, I couldn’t tell this to anyone. Today’ I told the whole story to my husband. So, it is requested that necessary action may kindly be taken against the accused.”

Hussain’s father-in-law accused him of creating Hindu-Muslim divide besides collecting money in the name Kathua rape and murder victim, speaking to local media on July 29.

Is Hussain paying the price for hogging the limelight in the wake of the Kathua rape case?

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