J&K Crime Branch’s Special Investigation Team (SIT), which probed the rape and murder in Kathua of an eight-year-old girl last year, have been served with FIRs on the order of the J&K Court. The directive is grounded on a complaint from 3 persons who claim they were tortured in the course of the investigation to “fabricate evidence” against Vishal Jangotra, an accused who was later left blotch free in the case.
Sachin Sharma, Neeraj Sharma and Sahil Sharma claimed that the complaint was treated with only silence and apathy; with zero action until now. The complaint was lodged on September 24 with the Pacca Danga police station in Jammu, reported The Indian Express.
“From the gist of the complaint, cognizable offences are made out… Therefore, application of the applicants under section 156(3) Cr.P.C. is allowed with the direction to SSP Jammu to register FIR… under relevant provisions of law and report compliance by next date of hearing on November 7,’’ City Judge Prem Sagar stated via the order.
Kashmir Pandit officer SSP Ramesh Kumar Jalla led the SIT Probe in the matter, deputy ASP Naveed Peerzada was from the Valley and DSP Shwetambari Sharma, the only female investigator in the team, was from Jammu. Apart from them, the court’s order covers DySP Nassir Hussain, Urfan Wani and Kewal Kishore.
Charged with mishandling and deliberate destruction of evidence, Sub Inspector Anand Dutta, Head Constable Tilak Raj, and special police officer Surender Verma are the other three accused who received five years’ jail sentence.
Jangotra, Sanji Ram’s kin, received the benefit of doubt and was cleared as innocent by the special court in which the case is being heard.
DySP Hussain is working at the Crime Branch even now. However, SSP Jalla has retired, Additional SP Peerzada is part of a UN mission in South Sudan, and DySP Sharma is posted at the police headquarters in Jammu.
In their complaint against the SIT, Sachin Sharma, Neeraj Sharma and Sahil Sharma claimed that the investigators tortured them to testify against Jangotra. The three had first logged in their complaints during inquiries in the case when they were produced before a magistrate for recording their statement.
Following Jangotra’s acquittal, they lodged their complaint with the SHO of Pacca Danga station. “On October 5, we approached SSP (Jammu) but nothing has been done in the matter so far,” their advocate Ankur Sharma had said.