The family members of Sanji Ram, the alleged conspirator of the Kathua rape and murder case, have said that he should be hanged publicly but only if a CBI probe into the case finds him guilty.
The family members also criticised the national media for portraying their agitation for a CBI probe into the case as “pro-rapists” and “pro-culprits”, and said the scribes were “delivering judgments without investigation”.
Huddled together under a tree in a nondescript hamlet in their village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, Ram’s family members have been demanding an “impartial investigation by a credible agency”. Sixteen women, who were on a fast demanding a CBI probe into the case, have been hospitalised in past 15 days.
“My father (Sanji Ram) and brother (Vishal) should be hanged to death if they are found guilty, provided the investigation is conducted by a credible agency. We want justice for the girl by a probe through credible agency and only such probe can ensure our father’s and brother’s innocence,” one of Ram’s daughters said.
“Media should have heard us, our side and our fears on the probe by the Crime Branch. Wanting a CBI probe to give justice to 8-year girl, meant to media that we were shielding culprits or creating hurdle in the probe. It was wrong. We always batted for justice for the girl,” she said.
She expressed doubt about the credibility of the probe by the Crime Branch. “Being a girl, I am pained over the treatment meted out to the victim but I am doubtful over the probe being conducted by the Crime Branch,” she said.
“We have doubts over the investigation and there are reasons for it. We strongly demand a CBI inquiry to ensure justice to the victim as well as the local people,” she added.
Her younger sister also questioned the Crime Branch’s investigation asking how could a father call his son for raping a minor girl — as claimed in the chargesheet.
“Can you imagine what this (statement in charge-sheet of Crime Branch) means? It is shameful that someone says an old man called his young son from his college in UP to rape a little girl,” she said.
The issue was being politicised, she said, and claimed that their voice had been muzzled in political war.
The family said that the chargesheet had not only given bad name to the hamlet but also “discredited” all the Dogras of the area.
The body of the girl, from the Bakherwal community, was recovered from Rasana forest on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area.
On January 23, the government had handed over the case to the crime branch of the state police which formed a Special Investigation Team and arrested eight people including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a head constable, who was charged with destruction of evidence.
The crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police filed a main charge sheet against the seven accused on Monday last and one separate charge sheet against another accused, who was earlier said to be a juvenile, at a court in Kathua district last Tuesday.