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Twist in Kasganj police custody death case, missing Hindu girl found by police is not a minor

The girl was found by police Friday and presented before a local court Monday, where she recorded her statement before a magistrate. Police say her father's claim that she's 16 is false. 

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New Delhi: The Hindu girl who had gone missing with the friend of 22-year-old Altaf, the Muslim youth who died in the custody of the Kasganj police, is not a minor, ThePrint has learnt. 

The ‘missing’ girl was found by police Friday and presented before a local court Monday, where she recorded her statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC. 

“The girl is a major. She has told the police that she is not 16 as claimed by her father in the initial FIR against Altaf. The date of birth on her Class 10 marksheet is March 2002; so, her age is 19 years,” a senior police officer privy to the case said. “She is a Class 12 pass out. We have verified it from her school, and collected her transfer certificate as well.” 

“We will conduct a probe after we get a copy of her statement before the magistrate,” the officer added. 

Speaking to ThePrint, Kasganj SP Rohan Botre confirmed her age. “The girl is an adult, unlike what was claimed by her father,” he said. “IPC 363 (kidnapping) will be removed from the FIR against Altaf. Further investigation is on.”

The case hit headlines when Altaf died in police custody on 9 November, a day after he was brought in for questioning. He is currently charged under sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (abduction, inducing a woman to compelled her for marriage) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

The Kasganj Police had claimed that Altaf hung himself from a tap in the police station’s washroom, using the “drawstrings of his jacket hood”. The post mortem report cited asphyxia as the cause of the death, and mentioned no other antemortem injuries on the rest of his body.

The woman’s father, in his complaint, had claimed she was 16 years old, based on which the FIR has been filed. 

The woman’s father had alleged that Altaf “had sent her to Delhi with his friend”. Altaf’s friend, Rinku, is still missing.

Also read: UP police paid family Rs 5L for ‘clean chit’ in Muslim man’s death in custody, cousin claims

‘They had been in a relationship for over a year’

Sources in the Kasganj police said the girl and Altaf had been in a relationship for a year and that she had also visited his house a number of times. 

“Altaf’s family knew about the relationship between the two. They had met her on multiple occasions. The girl has claimed during questioning that when she told Altaf’s family that they want to get married, his father Chand Miya had told her that she will have to convert to Islam in order to get married,” another senior police officer said. 

“The girl has claimed that she and Altaf had a sexual relationship and that he had promised marriage. However, on the day of eloping, Altaf dropped her off at Rinku’s and told her he would join her later,” the officer said. 

Earlier, believing that the girl was a minor, police had said that POCSO charges could be added against Altaf after she is traced and her statement is recorded. With this fresh detail on her age, the case has taken a new turn. 

On Monday, in a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Altaf’s father, Chand Miya, had asked for another post mortem and a CBI investigation into his son’s death. An FIR has been lodged under IPC section 302 (murder) based on the father’s complaint and a judicial inquiry has also been initiated into the matter. 

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

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