Jammu, Apr 12 (PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir Police has no objection if the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district is assigned to the CBI but it is as competent as any investigation agency to handle the case, state DGP S P Vaid asserted today.

He also rejected as “misconception” claims that the crime branch team probing the matter had no member from the Jammu region while emphasising that police officers perform their duties rising above regional or religious identities.

If we can we fight terrorism and stone pelting, why can’t we carry out a professional investigation. Our officers are on deputation with the CBI, Vaid said backing the crime branch team that investigated the case and arrested eight persons.

He was responding to queries from general public in a Twitter broadcast.

To a question why the Kathua rape and murder case was not transferred to the CBI, Vaid said we have no objection but the police is as competent as anybody else”.

The probe in the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl belonging to the nomadic Muslim Bakerwal community in Kathua has been questioned by the Jammu Bar Association who have alleged “targeting of minority Dogras” and demanded a CBI probe.

The police have arrested eight persons in the case.

In the interaction today, Vaid termed it a misconception that only officers from the Kashmir region were part of the special investigation team.

The SIT had officers from all ranks and regions. A police officer is a police officer and not a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Christian. That is what we believe in, he said adding that it was a misconception that no officer from Jammu area was part of the team.

Naming two of the officers, he said SSP, Jammu, Ramesh Jhalla and DSP, S Sharma, were actively involved in probing the case.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.