Chargesheet in Kathua rape and murder case filed days after DNA tests confirm victim was held captive in temple

‘Lawyers try to prevent police from filing charge sheet’

Srinagar: The Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police amid reported attempts by lawyers to prevent it from filing chargesheet on Monday filed a charge sheet against seven people who are allegedly involved in rape and murder of eight-year-old minor.

“The charge sheet was filed under different sections of Ranbir Penal Code which includes section 302,376,120(b) at Kathua court”

Inspector General of Police Crime Branch, Syed Afadul Mujtaba said that ‘one juvenile has also been arrested in connection with the case. There is one juvenile whose case is being processed’

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The charge sheet has been filed few days after DNA test confirmed that the victim was held captive inside a temple before being strangulated after rape.

An eight-year-old nomad Muslim girl, was abducted, raped and murdered in Hiranagar area of Kathua district on January 10 and her body was spotted by villagers in a nearby forest on January 17.

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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.

The lawyers at Kathua court tried to stop police from entering the court premises, however, police managed to file the charge sheet in the court.

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When contacted and asked that if any action was taken against the lawyers who reportedly prevented police from filing charge sheet, Director General of Police, S P Vaid, “There were slogans. We were successful in our mission.”

The Crime Branch of Police has presented the charge sheet of seven persons, including four cops and three men from the same family.
The accused involved in rape and murder case include SPO Deepak Khajuria, SPO Surinder Verma, Sub Inspector Anand Dutta, Head constable Tilak Raj, Retired Patwari Sanji Ram and his son Vishal Kumar.

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Earlier in a letter to the director general of police, the crime branch has detailed lapses by the Kathua police. Besides destruction of evidence, the letter said, “local police did not launch searches in the village even after the minor girl’s family filed a missing complaint.”

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(With inputs from KNS)

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