Jammu and Kashmir Police's Crime Branch has almost completed its probe into the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community in Kathua, establishing how the cops accused in the crime allowed a cover-up of the gruesome incident in lieu of money. The Crime Branch filed a supplementary charge sheet in the Pathankot court on Monday.
The girl went missing on January 10 and over the next week, she was drugged, starved, gangraped and then brutally murdered, according to chilling details in the chargesheet. Her battered body was spotted by villagers on January 17. The incident not only created fissures in the People’s Democratic Party-Bhartiya Janata Party state coalition government but also brought to the fore fault lines in state’s polity. The Supreme Court had transferred the trial of the case outside Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab in May.
National Herald has accessed the supplementary charge sheet which includes medical opinion about the effect of sedatives on the victim, asserting that that the child was continuously administered overdose of Clonazepam rendering her incapacitated to resist rape and murder. It also reveals the location of Vishal, son of Sanji Ram, alleged to be the mastermind behind the abduction and killing in January this year. Vishal had earlier claimed he had never visited Kathua.
The Crime Branch has arrested Ram, his son Vishal and his “juvenile” nephew, two special police officers Deepak Khajuria alias 'Dipu' and Surender Verma and friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu. All of them were named in the first charge sheet on April 9. It also arrested head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took ₹4 lakh from Sanji Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.
The apex court had earlier given the Crime Branch eight weeks to file supplementary charge sheet. Here are major takeaways from the charge sheet, that sums up the Crime Branch’s investigation in the case:
Notably, the Lok Sabha recently passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2018 that provides for death penalty as the maximum punishment in cases of rape of a child under 12 following an outcry over Kathua rape and murder case.
With PTI inputs