Protestors block the Jammu-Pathankot highway in Kathua during the Jammu Bandh on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.(HT Photo)
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Held captive, raped repeatedly: Chargesheet describes atrocities on Kathua girl

The eight-year-old girl was continuously drugged and was gang-raped thrice by her abductors, including a special police officer, inside a temple.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Jammu
UPDATED ON APR 12, 2018 03:51 PM IST

An eight-year-old girl whose gangrape and murder has split Jammu and Kashmir along communal lines was held captive in a temple, sedated and assaulted repeatedly, says the state police’s chargesheet.

The girl, who belonged to the nomadic Muslim Bakarwal community, was abducted on January 10 in Jammu region’s Kathua district while grazing horses near her home. A retired revenue department official planned the crimes against her, says the chargesheet filed by the crime branch of the Jammu and Kashmir police.

Sanji Ram planned the abduction because he wanted to scare the Bakarwals and make them move out of Rassana village in the Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua, alleges the chargsheet. He allegedly enticed his nephew, a school dropout, into committing the crime, it says.

Eight people have been charged in the case: Sanji Ram, his nephew, Sanji Ram’s son Vishal Jangotra, a friend of the nephew, a police sub-inspector, a head constable and two special police officers. The nephew was first identified as a juvenile although the charge sheet said a DNA test showed him to be 19-years-old.

The nephew allegedly told Sanji Ram’s son, Vishal Jangotra, in Meerut over the phone about the abduction of the girl and asked him to come to Kathua “if he wanted to satisfy his lust”.

The policemen were supposed to help destroy evidence and cover up the crime in exchange for bribes, it’s alleged.

The girl was held in a temple identified as Devasthan, which is run by Sanji Ram, after she was kidnapped, drugged constantly and subjected to multiple rapes including gang rape.

The girl was held in the temple until January 14 before the nephew strangled her to death and bludgeoned her with a stone to make sure she was dead, said the charge sheet.

It added that before she was killed, one of the accused asked his accomplices to “wait” as he also wanted to rape the girl. Her body was found on January 17 not too far from Devasthan.

According to the charge sheet, “whatever surfaced in the course of investigation leads to the irresistible conclusion” that the eight “undoubtedly committed offences” including kidnapping, wrongful confinement, gang rape, murder and tampering with evidence.

It also mentions that investigators along with forensic experts and a first-class executive magistrate visited the crime scene and a minute examination of the locations, including Devasthan, led to the recovery of blood stained wooden sticks and hair strands.

A few hair strands recovered from Devasthan and the nearby forest where the body was dumped, were sent to New Delhi for a DNA profiling. One of the strands from Devasthan matched with the girl’s DNA profile.

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