Amid lawyers’ protest in Kathua, Police files chargesheet in rape-murder case

Srinagar: Lawyers in Kathua on Monday tried to prevent the Crime Branch to file the chargesheet in the rape and murder case of the an eight year old girl. However the police, after calling reinforcements filed the chargesheet.

“We have filed charge sheet against seven accused persons and charge sheet against a juvenile person will be field separately,” IGP Syed Afadul Mujtaba said.

“There was some resistance and that has been tackled. The charge sheet has been filed,” the IGP added.

Earlier, in a statement, the President of the Bar Kirty Bhushan Mahajan, said, “All Bar members strongly condemn the conduct of the Crime Branch in the case. The state government has failed to deal with the issue and understand the sentiments of the people. The agitation of the Bar was successful and the Crime Barnch was compelled to go back and the Challan could not be presented in the court.”

The Agitation of the Bar shall continue and work shall remain suspended till April 12. In the statement, the Bar has called for a complete shutdown on April 11 in Kathua.

“The Bar has also appealed the Civil Society, Private School Assocation, Vyapar Mandal Kathua, Transport Union to observe a complete shutdown on April 11,” said the statement.

Reacting to the actions of the Bar, National Conference Working President Omar Abdullah, in a tweet, while referring to the lawyers said, “Shame on them and their political masters.”

Recently, the DNA report suggested that the eight year old  Kathua girl was being held captive in a temple.

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.

Ram  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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