Kathua rape and murder: CB submits report, call details place SPO Khajuria on crime location

Call details and mobile tower data place the accused on the location of the crime.

Evidence that drugs used to sedate minor girl bought by accused SPO Deepak Khajuria from chemist shop in Kathua days before kidnapping.

Next date of hearing on 14 March.

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch which is investigating the Kuthua rape and murder case, on Friday submitted the status report before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

On January 17, body of minor Muslim girl was found in the forests near Rasana, Hiranagar. The, girl had been missing for a week. According to police, she had been abducted and raped, while media reports later revealed that she had been even drugged to keep her from trying for help.

Inspector General of Police, Crime Branch, Syed Afadu Mujtaba said that the status report was submitted before the Jammu and Kashmir high court. “Yes the report has been submitted before the high court. The next date of hearing is on 14 March,” the IG said refusing to share the details of report.

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The rape and murder of the minor girl from the nomad Muslim community has divided the ruling parties of the state. The BJP has been demanding transferring of case to the CBI and criticizing the role of the Crime Branch.

However on Thursday the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, has turned down the demand of alliance partner BJP to handover the investigation of rape and murder of 8-year-old Gujjar girl to the CBI.

“Crime Branch is investigating the case. There might be some lapses in Crime Branch probe due to which people of Hiranagar have been demanding CBI probe. We raised the issue with the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today and demanded that investigation should be handed over to CBI. But she declined to hand over the case,” Health Minister, Bali Bhagat, had told media after meeting the chief minister in Jammu.

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The PDP has accused the BJP of “communalizing” the Kuthua incident. On January 23, the Mehbooba Mufti government had ordered a probe into the incident, and subsequently handed over the case to the Crime Branch of police.

Reports on Thursday said that the crime branch has arrested a police sub-inspector and a head constable for their involvement in destruction of crucial evidence.

Hawaldar Tilak Raj, posted at the Hiranagar police station, was arrested after it was prima facie established that he had washed Asifa’s clothes that were soaked in blood and mud before sending them for forensic test. Sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who was the investigative officer, has been detained for questioning, reported one of the National news channel.

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“We arrested a hawaldar and a sub-inspector is being questioned in connection with destruction of evidence,” the report quoted director general of police, SP Vaid as having said.

Two special police officers, Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Verma, have already been arrested, while two more persons, including a juvenile, have also been arrested for the kidnapping, rape and murder of the girl, mentioned the report.

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“They claim that call details and mobile tower data place the accused on the location of the crime, adding that there is evidence that drugs used to sedate the minor girl was bought by Deepak Khajuria from a chemist shop in Kathua days before the kidnapping,” the report said.

In a letter to the director general of police, the crime branch has detailed lapses by the Kathua police. Besides destruction of evidence, they accuse the local police of not preserving the crime scene. No searches were carried out in the village even after the victims family filed a missing complaint, the crime branch said in its letter.

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(With inputs from KNS)

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