Kathua: Chargesheet Reveals Horrific Details Of 8-Yr-Old’s Rape. What Will It take For Us To Ensure Justice?
April 11th, 2018
Image Credit: Free Press Journal
Amid protest from lawyers of the Kathua Bar Association yesterday, the Crime Branch of police filed charge sheet against seven accused out of the eight in the court regarding the horrific rape and murder of eight-year-old nomad girl in Kathua.
Terrible details have emerged from the 18-page charge sheet. It says that the girl was gang-raped thrice inside the Devasthan or prayer hall, after the mastermind behind the crime performed a “ritual”, as reported by The Indian Express. One of the rapists came all the way from Meerut to “satisfy his lust”. Before killing the girl, another police officer asked others to wait because he wanted to rape her “one last time”. The girl was then confined using sedatives, then strangled and hit on the head twice with a stone — “in order to make sure” she was dead.
And why did the girl have to go through such an ordeal? Just to scare off the Bakherwal Muslim nomads from Rasana village in Kathua near Jammu. The charge sheet also states that after the incident, one of the accused paid 1.5 lakh as bribe to a local policeman, who knew where the girl was, to cover his tracks.
According to the charge sheet, the mastermind behind the rape and murder is retired revenue official Sanji Ram who is among the eight arrested, along with his son Vishal Jangotra and nephew, believed to be a juvenile, reports The Indian Express.
The Crime Branch had also arrested Special Police Officers (SPOs) Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, a Rasana resident Parvesh Kumar, Assistant Sub Inspector Anand Dutta and Head Constable Tilak Raj in the case. Dutta and Raj were arrested for trying to destroy evidence.
“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 charge sheet states
On the same day, Ram asked his nephew to get the girl who “often comes to the forests behind their house for grazing her horses”. His nephew, the juvenile, “shared the plan” with Parvesh Kumar. When they saw the girl, they led her into the forest saying that her horses were there.
“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 charge sheet says.
“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 says.
The next day, when her parents came to inquire about her whereabouts, they met Ram. He said that she might have gone to a relative’s house. That day again “Khajuria and the juvenile opened the Devasthan inside the temple and again sedated the girl by pushing sedatives into her mouth and forced her to drink water subsequently.”
“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 charge sheet says.
He reached Rasana the next day. The charge sheet says that the juvenile administered three sedatives to the victim. Then the police search party along with Khajuria and Iftikar Wani came to the house of Sanju Ram.
“During investigation, it transpired that the accused Ram had already taken the accused police officials into confidence and settled the deal with them,” it says.
The charge sheet says that Head Constable Raj, who was part of the search party, had asked Ram to bribe the police team. On January 12, Ram sent Rs 1.5 lakh to Raj through the juvenile’s mother, it says.
On January 13, the charge sheet says, “…accused Vishal Jangotra, the juvenile and accused Ram went to the Devasthan where Ram performed rituals”. Later, it says, Jangotra “raped the nomad girl. Thereafter, the juvenile also raped the girl”.
After keeping the girl in the prayer hall for days, the charge sheet says, Ram told the other accused that it was time to kill her and “dump her (body) in the forest”.
“…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 charge sheet says.
Charge Sheet describing the murder
“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 body was kept inside the prayer hall as there was no vehicle to transport it. Later, on Ram’s instruction, it was thrown in the jungle.
The Logical Indian Take
These are the details listed in the charge sheet. If it is excruciating to read or hear about this, then think about what the little kid went through those few days. An innocent child was raped but who cares? Outfits like Hindu Ekta Manch led by Two BJP Ministers were protesting to protect the rapists. Even more horrible is that lawyers, who are supposed to ensure justice for victims, were the ones who extended their support to the rapists. Many took march with the tricolor to save the rapists.
What would it take for us to ensure that the little girl gets justice? What else needs to be done?