Kathua rape and murder case: Victim was held captive in a temple before being murdered, says DNA report

Srinagar: The eight year old Kathua girl who was raped and murdered was being held captive in a temple, the DNA report has suggested.

According to news agency GNS, the DNA test of hair strands recovered by the crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police from Devsthan temple in Rassana village has matched with the victim’s hair.

One of the accused in the case had earlier confessed during interrogation that the girl was held captive at the temple.

“The crime site was searched and the hair strands were found and sent to Forensic Laboratory (FSL) New Delhi. The report confirmed that they were that of Asifa,” said the report.

The report was received by the crime branch on Tuesday along with the postmortem report which has also confirmed that sedatives were used to knock her unconscious.

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An official of the crime branch, according to the report, said that the charge sheet will be filed after they receive the medical report.
Nine accused, including the alleged mastermind Sanji Ram – an ex-bureaucrat – and his son vishal Kumar, a police head constable, two SPOs and a sub-inspector of police, have been arrested in the case.

Sanji Ram, who according to the police is the mastermind in the abduction, rape and murder of minor girl, surrendered before the police on March 20. His surrender came after the arrest of his son Vishal – a BSc Agriculture student -from Meerut area of Uttar Pradesh.

Ram, said to be linked with the Hindu Ekta Manch, allegedly motivated special police officer Deepak Khajuria to kidnap, rape and murder the eight-year-old victim with the intention of driving out nomadic families of Muslim origin from Jammu’s Rasana village.

Earlier, it came to fore that how the police had initially botched up the probe by destroying crucial evidence. 

On January 17, body of minor 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 by an SPO Deepak Khajuria, who was a part of the team sent out find her when she was missing.

The investigation of the Crime Branch further revealed that she had been drugged so that she couldn’t cry for help.

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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. Several people including two policemen have been arrested so far for involvement in the crime.

However, Hindu Ekta Manch has been protesting in support of the arrested policeman, demanding transfer of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.The Chief Minister has already condemned the rallies being held by Hindu Ekta March and also said that raising the tricolour in such rallies amounts to desecration.

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