Kathua rape case: Police caught Vishal Jangotra with help of a selfie

The Jammu and Kashmir crime branch team arrested Vishal Jangotra on March 17 from Meerapur. He is one of the accused in the kidnapping, rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl in Kathua 

NH Photo
NH Photo

Aas Mohd Kaif

The Jammu and Kashmir crime branch team arrested Vishal Jangotra, accused in the kidnapping, rape and murder of an eight-years old girl, on March 17 from Meerapur, near Meerut. He was studying in Aakansha College in Meerapur which comes under Muzzffarnagar district. For past few months, Vishal had been living in this area which is known for communal harmony. He didn’t visit his home during the recent college vacations and spent most of his time in his room.

Vishal was one of those who allegedly raped the eight-year-old in Kathua. According to Kishore Gupta, Inspector of Crime Branch in Kathua, the location of the accused is same as that the location of crime in the filed charge sheet. He was also involved in the murder of the kid. Vishal posted a selfie on his Facebook account. The selfie was taken at Babar Mata Temple in Meerapur, after which the Jammu Police reached him. But the Jammu Police didn’t know that he was studying in Meerapur. With the help of a local journalist Rahul Sharma, the police were able to find him. Vishal was living on rent in the house of Suman Sharma, who is a social worker. Suman Sharma's son Ravi Sharma told NH, "He came here three months ago and he rarely got out of the room."

Rahul Sharma, who helped the Jammu and Kashmir Police in locating and then arresting Vishal Jangotra, says, "For Jammu Crime Branch, it was difficult to trace Vishal in the population of 30 thousand. I used my local information and resources. Vishal has committed a heinous crime. I have done my duty towards humanity and the nation. Vishal should be given a strict punishment. "

Meerapur is a mixed population town where Hindus and Muslims have been living together in peace and harmony. This arrest has shocked and surprised the people of this town and everyone has been condemning this heinous crime and want all the accused to be punished severely . Dudu Rastogi, who runs the mobile shop, says, "The man and his accomplices should be hanged. They have embarrassed the whole humanity. The whole country is embarrassed."

Kathua incident is being condemned worldwide. All eight people involved in the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl have been arrested. This crime had taken place inside a religious place and the main accused Sanjiram had planned the rape and murder of the child. Jammu Police has described this as a matter of religious hatred. Sanjiram wanted to create fear in the local Muslim Gujjars (also called Bakarwal), so that they vacate the area. For this, he hatched out this plan. The 56-year-old main accused of this heinous crime is a priest of the temple where the incident took place. Vishal is the Sanjiram’s son. The victim’s father told the media that for about a week, they kept on looking for the child everywhere but they did not go to the temple because the temple is a sacred place.

The reason for his arrest from Meerapur was a selfie which he had taken outside Babare Mata Temple. There is an ancient Babare Mata Temple on the Mirpur-Bijnor Road, where every year a fair is organised in the month of March. This time also, a fair was held, where Vishal clicked a selfie and uploaded it on Facebook. The farmer who has a farm close to the temple, explains, "With Babare Mata’s blessings, the beast was caught from nearby Her temple."

Close to the temple stands Aakanksha College. Vishal was pursuing B.Sc (Agriculture) from the same college. On being asked whether the entire crime had any connection with getting admission in this college, the Principal of the college, Manjit Singh said, "Whenever someone applies for admission, the university selects the college for the applicant and Vishal also got admission following this process. His behavior was normal.” The principal is also in the ambit of investigation and his role in Vishal’s admission in the college is also being considered as suspicious. Many questions are rising. The obvious question is-- Did Vishal take the admission after the crime?

Vishal had been living in his rented accomodation for just three months. Vishal had said that he was taking exams for the first semester at the time of the incident and his examination center was in a nearby Khatauli college. When the team of Jammu and Kashmir crime branch team reached Khatauli college to investigate, the information about someone else in place of Vishal taking the exam came to light . After this, the team of SIT took the recording of the CCTV camera with them. Former student Vikas Kumar explains, "The image of Aakanksha College is not good, why the boy from Jammu was studying here only? The surreptitious game of adjustment goes on here.” The college is also under scrutiny. Kathua SP Naveed Pirzada says, "The police have sent a charge sheet with strong evidences. The CCTV recordings have been sent for forensic examination, the culprits will not be able to escape.”

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