Kathua Cover-Up Slur On Cops, Call Details Nail Mastermind’s Son

CB files supplementary charge sheet, says mastermind bribed police to destroy evidence

JAMMU — Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police has exposed how the Kathua police tried to brush the gruesome rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community under the carpet by taking bribe to destroy the evidence.

The Crime Branch made the disclosure in a supplementary charge sheet filed by it before a court in Pathankot on Monday, officials said.

Senior Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police (Crime Branch) R K Jalla, accompanied by Special Public Prosecutor J-K Chopra and other lawyers, submitted the charge sheet before District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh, the officials said.

The charge sheet includes medical opinion about the effect of sedatives on the victim as well as the location of Vishal, son of Sanji Ram, alleged to be the mastermind behind the abduction and killing in January this year. Vishal had claimed he had never visited Kathua.

The Crime Branch has arrested Ram, his son Vishal and his juvenile nephew, two special police officers Deepak Khajuria alias 'Dipu' and Surender Verma and friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu. All of them were named in the first charge sheet on April 9.

It also arrested head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Sanji Ram and destroyed crucial evidence. Raj and Dutta have since been dismissed from service.

The supplementary charge sheet has summed up the investigation, which alleges that Kumar was not only in constant touch with co-accused Khajuria but also in contact with Raj.

Raj is believed to have played a pivotal role in striking a deal between Ram and the police for destruction of evidence.

The charge sheet has also submitted Kumar's detailed call analysis to show he shared a common location with other accused on crucial dates of crime and immediately thereafter.

The duration of the calls made and their frequency increased after the rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl, leading to the "irresistible conclusion of knee deep involvement of accused Surinder Kumar with other accused...", the charge sheet states.

The Crime Branch also conducted an analysis of the two bank accounts of Ram, custodian of the temple where the child was allegedly confined, and found he made huge cash withdrawals.

Witness statements recorded by the Crime Branch confirmed the accused had undertaken no constructional activity and had no social obligation either, the document says.

The Crime Branch alleged in its charge sheet that the withdrawals were made to bribe the police officers for destruction of evidence.

During further investigation detailed call data record analysis in respect of accused namely, Deepak Khajuria, Sanji Ram, Tilak Raj, Anand Dutta, Surinder and Vishal Jangotra was got conducted through Incharge Cyber Cell, the Crime branch has submitted in the supplementary charge sheet.

The analysis indicates communication between some of the accused on important days concerning the crime as well as after January 27, the day when the case was formally handed over to Crime Branch.

“Common location analysis based on the data provided by the cellular companies indicates presence of some of the accused in and around Rasana, Kootah on crucial dates concerning crime corroborating many instances of the main charge sheet. From the analysis, it is evident that spike in the calls, between some of the accused, is visible immediately around important dates of occurrence of crime, after the recovery of the dead body of the victim as well as when crime scenes were inspected by the investigating agency in this case,” it says, pointing out meeting of minds in furtherance of a conspiracy which resulted in the rape and murder of the victim.

CDR analysis also reveals that Vishal Jangotra remained in constant touch with his family whenever he has been in U.P and only in few instances there is no communication with his family for few days. “There are no calls between accused Vishal and his parents from 12.01.2018 to 17.01.2018 which is unusual and vouches for his presence in Rasana on crucial dates concerning crime as well as his subsequent conduct after returning back to Meerut, UP,” The Crime Branch has submitted in the supplementary charge sheet.

 Analysis of CDRs of Vishal also reveal that he has a pattern of travelling to UP from Rasana in the late evening hours and reaching UP in the morning and conversely a pattern of travelling from UP to Rasana in the late evening hours and reaching Rasana in the early morning hours. 

Earlier this month, the Crime Branch informed the Supreme Court that it would be submitting a supplementary charge sheet in the case. The apex court had given them eight weeks to file it.

The district and sessions court in Pathankot framed charges of rape and murder against the seven accused in the case on June 8.

Ram, considered the main accused, is alleged to have hatched the conspiracy with the other accused for kidnapping the girl as part of a strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area.

The fate of the eighth accused, a juvenile, is yet to be decided after the Crime Branch moved an application in the high court claiming he was an adult. (with inputs from PTI)

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