Chargesheet Of 8-Year-Old's Gangrape in Kathua Reveals Shocking Planning And Police Cover-Up

| April 11 , 2018 , 14:30 IST

An 18-page chargesheet was filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police's Crime Branch on Monday against 8 accused in the gangrape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Jammu's Kathua region. The chargesheet revealed shocking details of the deep planning that went into her gangrape and murder after she went missing on January 10.

Allegedly to "dislodge" a group of Bakherwal Muslim nomads from the Rasana village in Kathua, the 8-year-old victim was kidnapped, sedated then gangraped thrice inside the Devasthan prayer hall before she was strangled to death. Her body was found 7 days later in nearby forests.

The mastermind behind the rape and murder retired revenue official Sanji Ram, his son Vishal Jangotra, Ram's juvenile nephew, Rasana resident Parvesh Kumar, Special Police Officers (SPOs) Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, Assistant Sub Inspector Anand Dutta and Head Constable Tilak Raj have been arrested in the case. Dutta and Raj have been arrested on charges of attempting to destroy evidence.

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According to the chargesheet quoted by the Indian Express, the girl's father Mohd Yousuf lodged a complaint on January 12 that his daughter “had gone for grazing horses in the nearby forest at about 1230 hrs on January 10” but had not returned. The case was transferred to the Crime Branch on January 22.

“Deepak along with his friend Vikram went to Bitu Medical shop at Kottah Morh on January 7 evening and purchased one strip of Epitril 0.5 mg containing 10 tablets by showing the prescription of his uncle, who has a psychiatric problem and is under treatment. Although the medicine as per the prescription was not available with Bitu, he gave him Epitril 0.05 mg instead of the medicine written on the prescription,’’ the chargesheet said.

The mastermind Sanji Ram reportedly made SPO Khajuria and the juvenile a “part of the conspiracy and assigned them tasks separately and individually”. He asked his nephew to “kidnap” the girl who “often comes to the forests behind their house for grazing her horses” who shared the plan with Parvesh Kumar and asked for his help in the 'kidnapping'.

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On January 10, the juvenile spotted the girl searching for her horses and he told her that “he had seen her horses and led her to the jungle”, the charge-sheet said. 

“He also called accused Mannu. Sensing some trouble, the victim tried to flee but the juvenile stopped her by catching hold of her neck and covered her mouth with one of his hands and pushed her and she fell on the ground,” the chargesheet said.

“The victim fell unconscious and was raped by the juvenile (in the jungle). Thereafter, Mannu also attempted to rape her. They took her and kept her inside the Devasthan under the table over two plastic mats and then covered her,” it said.

On the next day the “parents of the girl reached the Devasthan and enquired from… Ram about the whereabouts of her missing daughter who told them that she may have gone to some relative’s house”,  the chargesheet said.

“Khajuria and the juvenile opened the Devasthan and again sedated the girl by pushing sedatives into her mouth and forced her to drink water subsequently”, it said.

“On January 11, the juvenile informed another accused Vishal Jangotra about the kidnapping of the girl telephonically and asked him to return from Meerut in case he wanted to satisfy his lust,’’ the chargesheet said.

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“At around 8.30 am, the juvenile again went to the Devasthan and administered 3 sedative tablets to the girl while she was unconscious with empty stomach,’’ the chargesheet said.

A police party from the Hiranagar station, including Khajuria, had started searching for girl.

“Khajuria…came to the house of accused Sanji Ram with another police official namely Iftikar Wani… Khajuria advised the juvenile to ensure administering of sedatives to the victim in time,’’ the chargesheet said.

“During investigation it transpired that the accused Ram had already taken the accused police officials into confidence and settled the deal with them,” it said.

The chargesheet states that Head Constable Raj who was a part of the search party had already asked Ram to bribe the police team and accordingly Ram had sent Rs 1.5 lakh to Raj on January 12.

On January 13, “accused Vishal Jangotra, the juvenile and accused Ram went to the Devasthan where Ram performed rituals” after which Jangotra “raped the nomad girl. Thereafter, the juvenile also raped the girl”, the chargesheet said.

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Ram then reportedly told the other accused that it was time to kill the 8-year-old victim and “dump her (body) in the forest”.

But before the girl's murder, "the accused Mannu, Vishal and juvenile took the victim from the Devasthan to a nearby culvert… accused Khajuria told the juvenile to wait as he wanted to rape the girl before she is killed,’’ the chargesheet said.

“After committing the barbaric act of rape on the minor victim, the accused Khajuria kept her neck on his left thigh and started applying force with his hands on her neck in order to kill her… Khajuria was unsuccessful in killing her, the juvenile killed her by pressing his knees against her back while strangulating the girl by applying force on both the ends of her chunni. Thereafter, the accused, in order to make sure that the victim is dead, hit her twice on head with a stone," the chargesheet described.

The dead body of the minor girl was dumped inside the prayer hall as the accused couldn’t find a vehicle to transport it. On January 15, the chargsheet says, Ram “directed” the other accused to “throw the body in the jungle’’.

A further Rs 1.5 lakh was paid by the accused to the local policemen who knew where the girl was located to help cover up the crime.

The brutal gangrape and murder of the young 8-year-old girl sparked outrage across the state.