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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Flaws in the Chargesheet of Kathua Rape and Murder Case – Part 2

In this article, we continue to examine the flaws in the chargesheet filed by Jammu and Kashmir police in the Kathua rape and murder case as a continuation of the previous article of the series. The entire chargesheet filed by Jammu and Kashmir Police on the Kathua rape and murder case can be found here.

Page 11

“the Devisthan and gave the same to the girl and again covered her with mats and dropped the utensil container in front of her in order to hide her. The remaining two tablets were hidden by the juvenile delinquent under a heap of garbage near electric pole. During investigation the said strip containing two tablets was recovered from near the Devisthan on the disclosure and at the instance of JCL. During investigation it has been found that after distributing Lohri to relatives in the evening JCL informed accused Sanji Ram that he and accused Vishal Jangotra had committed gang rape with Asifa inside Devisthan.”

Again – the CB fails to provide one reason or rationale as to why the perpetrators would hide a tiny tablet strip in a garbage heap – what does it accomplish? How did the CB establish that the tablet strip they discovered indeed was the same from which Asifa had been drugged? Not a shred of evidence unless the CB wants everyone to believe that was the only strip of Epitril in the whole area at that point of time

“After committing the barbaric act of rape on minor victim the accused Deepak Khajuria @ Deepu kept her neck on his left thigh and started applying force with his hands on her neck in order to kill her. As accused Deepak Khajuria @ Deepu was unsuccessful in killing her another accused JCL killed her by pressing his knees against her back and strangulated the girl by applying force on both the ends of her Chunni. Thereafter, accused JCL, in order to make sure that the victim is dead, hit her twice on head with stone.”

An 8 year old – severely dehydrated, most likely hyponatremic and having low blood pressure from the Clonazepam (8 tablets) and not having consumed food – cannot be killed by a man 4-5 times her age? As for the stone – the CB does not include it as evidence or state for the record that the stone had ample amounts of blood & tissue that matches that of the victim. As for the gangrape allegations – no analysis of bodily fluids on the victim has been even included at this point.

“At around 4.00 pm JD Shuboo went to Samadiya near the court Hiranagar where other village boys were playing and met his friend, namely Amit Sharma S/o Narayan Shanker R/o W. No 10 Hiranagar, and informed him about the murder of victim. A fact corroborated by friends of Amit. Thereafter, JCL accompanied”

Why would the JD – who seems otherwise calculating and shrewd go and incriminate himself even if to his friends after having done such a societally unpardonable/unacceptable act which also carries severest punishment under the law of the land. The CB cannot possibly offer any logical explanation for this and for the fact that the JD would offer up this confession without any quid pro quo or coercion. Why would the JD basically offer testimony against his family members when he has nothing to gain by doing so? Did the CB threaten him with physical & mental abuse/torture if he refused to co-operate? Was the confession videotaped?

Page 13

“Pertinently, another installment of Rs 1.5 lakhs was given to accuse Tilak Raj by accused Sanji Ram at his residence for SI Anand Dutta. Investigations revealed that next day on 17th January 2018 dead body of Asifa was recovered on the basis of information provided by one Jagdish Raj S/o Desu R/o Dugaan Bani who had seen the same while in search of his missing sheep in the nearby forest. The body of the deceased was taken into custody by police for conducting autopsy. The postmortem of the deceased was conducted by a team of doctors at District Hospital Kathua on the same day at 1430 hrs. Investigation revealed that in the evening accused HC Tilak Raj, who was in knowledge of entire game plan, met accused Sanji Ram at home where he requested the accused Sanji Ram to handover one of the accused as things have gone beyond their control due to massive agitation by Bakarwals. Instead of handing over any accused to him accused Sanji Ram paid an amount of Rs 1.00 lakhs to accused SI Anand Dutta through said Tilak Raj which Tilak Raj readily accepted. Investigations also revealed that on the following day JCL was apprehended and taken to Police Station for questioning.”

Again it baffles the mind that Sanji Ram would enter into a deal with the police before even prior to committing the crime or conspiring or figuring on the list of their suspects and offer them 4 lakhs /5 lakhs to evade arrest, all for them to arrest his nephew the JD a few days later who would in turn confess first to the police that he did it & then to CB that his uncle and others were also in on the whole thing. And Sanji Ram did all this apparently according to the wise sleuths at CB, to scare away a few Bakarwals from his village. None of this would appear even sensible to an average commoner – but somehow the CB thinks its a convincing theory as to how and why the crime was committed.

Page 14

“During investigation it transpired that on 19th January, 2018, the accused SI Dutta along with his PSO’s took JCL to the jungle where from the dead body had been recovered and accused SI Dutta told JCL to hold a stone in his hand and took his photograph. He also prepared a Disclosure Memo showing the Stone to have been recovered on the disclosure of JCL. Thereafter, he took the Juvenile to a cow shed and again took his photographs in the dry grass shed and Machine room respectively. Then accused SI Dutta took JCL’s photograph near the ashes of wood. This all was being done by the accused SI Dutta in order to attach an element of truthfulness to his concocted story and in the process to create false evidence so that other accused could be screened from the grave criminal charges for which he had received Rs 4.00 lacs out of the settled amount of Rs 5.00 lacs from accused Sanji Ram. During investigation it surfaced that accused Sanji Ram had kept a good amount of cash available with him well in advance.”

If Sanji Ram is naive, then according to CB statements, the Inspector Anand Dutta is even more so. While CB claims the first version is concocted, they have not done due diligence to discredit the first version or atleast it is not apparent in the chargesheet that has been placed before the courts. There is no listing of evidence that is contrary to the first story except for the confession of the JD. There is still no explanation as to how Sanji Ram had so much cash with him. All the CB is trying to do it seems is spin a story that this crime was premeditated and had been planned for a considerable while.

Page 15

“evidence both oral as well as scientific, that the accused SI Dutta and Tilak Raj have in furtherance of Criminal Conspiracy hatched between themselves and the principal accused Sanji Ram washed the clothes worn by the deceased at the time of her death with the intention to remove the clay and blood stains/sperms etc and thereafter forwarded the same to FSL for expert opinion. This apart the accused SI Dutta deliberately did not conduct the search of Devisthan for tracing out the missing girl. The said accused has not even searched the premises and other suspected installation/houses in the vicinity where from the innocent girl had gone missing and was lastly seen by the witness namely Veena Devi.”

What Scientific evidence is the CB talking about? Thus far we haven’t even seen common sense in the chargesheet. How did the CB ascertain the clothes were washed? Why is the CB obsessed with the Devisthan? Is there a religious motive behind the second narrative peddled by the CB? Why wasn’t Veena Devi a suspect? Since she had last seen the victim? Was she interrogated by the CB? Did the CB do its due diligence? Is Veena Devi a dependable witness?

“Moreover during the course of investigation of such a sensational case the said accused as an I.O has remained very casual and has left serious criminal lapses deliberately in order to give undue benefit or to expunge the accused involved in the case. The accused while investigating the case has deliberately not seized Dupatta, hairband and neckless of the deceased girl as well as clothes of the juvenile after his confession which is evident from the seizure memos prepared by the accused during the course of investigation. The Chunni used for strangulating the victim has been seized later on by SIT CBJ from P/S Hiranagar along with Hair band. These vital pieces of evidence were deliberately left out by the said accused to confer undue benefit to the accused. The necklace worn by the victim (as seen in the photographs of victim) was also not seized and has been destroyed as the same could not be traced and accused was unable to justify that as to why these items were not seized as a piece of evidences in this case. Similarly the accused SI Anand Dutta has not even collected the blood sample of victims from the board of doctors who conducted autopsy of victim at District Hospital Kathua.”

What makes the CB think that dupatta & other items were even available on or near the cadaver? Why don’t they mention these items as being on the body of the deceased. How did the CB establish these were deliberate acts done only to benefit the accused? The JD confessed to the crime all by himself – what undue benefit would have accrued to the JD by the Inspector missing out these items? This benefit accusation fits only if there are other adult perpetrators and the crime happens in the Devisthan so a communal narrative can be spun around the case. Otherwise under Juvenile law, the punishment would not change much.

Page 17

“This apart during investigation it transpired that a particular community had a general impression that the Bakarwals indulge in cow slaughter and drug trafficking and that their children were turning into drug addicts. This rivalry between the two communities in the area has already resulted into registration of various FIRs and counter FIRs at different adjoining police stations of the area between the two communities. Thus during investigation it has become abundantly clear that the accused had a reason to act against the Bakarwal Community and hence the conspiracy ultimately resulting into the gruesome rape and brutal murder of a child of only 8 years of age, who being a small kid became a soft target.”

Drug trafficking is a serious offence as is cow slaughter in certain states in India – considering these charges were leveled against the Bakarwals – what did the state police machinery do to alleviate the conflict?

The CB should remember that this a chargesheet and that too a poorly framed one . Nothing is clear yet and no one is guilty. The CB has very nearly pronounced a guilty verdict on the Hindu community as a whole and the religious motivations are amply clear. The CB in the interest of full disclosure should list the names & religion of the investigating officers and whether any of them are accused in crimes against Hindus.

“In the course of investigation, the potency test of the JCL, Vishal Jangotra and Pravesh Kumar was conducted and the report obtained has been found positive. The report makes it clear that the accused including Juvenile are capable of performing sexual intercourse.”

What is pertinent is whether their bodily fluids were present on or inside the victim. The excuse that Anand Dutta washed the clothes does not make the accused guilty unless the CB can conclusively prove presence of bodily fluids or that these men were in close proximity to the victim at the time. It is not clear what the CB is trying to accomplish with a potency test – rape can be done using foreign objects also and it seems the CB is rather ignorant in these matters. This statement serves only a diversionary purpose and adds nothing to the case against the accused.

Thus it can be seen that the chargesheet is filled with flaws and instead of trying to clearly prove the accused as guilty, it seems to have been filed with the motive of defaming a temple in Devisthan and the Hindus of jammu as a whole.  We will continue this series of articles and present many more other flaws in the chargesheet.

(Note: The page numbers cited above are from the downloaded PDF copy of the chargesheet as given in the link. The exact location of the contents in the document may vary slightly)

(Disclaimer: This article represents the opinions of the Author, and the Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content. HinduPost will not be responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information, contained herein.)

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