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Charge sheet reveals Kathua horror

In action: Women police personnel chasing away girl students, who were throwing stones during clashes in Srinagar.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The eight-year-old girl allegedly raped by six men, who had held her in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January, was kept sedated and sexually assaulted once again before she was bludgeoned to death, reveals the charge sheet in the case.

The abduction, rape and killing of the Bakherwal girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, reveals the 15-page charge sheet filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Crime Branch in the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court here on Monday.

It lists the caretaker of the Devisthan, a small temple, in Rassana village in Kathua, about 90 km from here, as the main conspirator behind the abduction, rape and killing.

Sanji Ram was allegedly joined by special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, Ram’s nephew, a juvenile, and his son Vishal Jangotra alias “Shamma.”

The charge sheet also names investigating officers, head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took ₹4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence. A separate charge sheet was filed on Tuesday on the role of the juvenile, who cannot be named according to law.

All eight are under arrest.

The document lays bare the larger conspiracy to instil fear in the Bakerwal community and explains in chilling detail how it was carried out. The eight-year-old had gone missing on January 10 while grazing horses in the forest. Investigators said the accused abducted the girl on the pretext of helping her find her horses.

The day after their daughter went missing, the parents went to the Devisthan and asked Ram about her whereabouts. He said she may have gone to a relative’s house. According to the charge sheet, the accused gave the girl sedatives to make her unconscious while holding her in captivity.

Meanwhile, lawyers in Jammu on Wednesday struck work in support of the accused.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 4:23:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/charge-sheet-reveals-kathua-horror/article23506811.ece

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