In Detail: Supplementary chargesheet in Kathua rape-murder reveals more details

The supplementary chargesheet filed by J&K’s Crime Branch on Monday states that the eight-year-old nomad girl from Kathua, Asifa, was regularly overdosed during captivity “rendering her incapacitated” to resist sexual assault and murder.

The chargesheet a copy of  which lies with The Kashmir Walla describes the details of the sedatives, including ‘mannar’ a form of opiate, forcefully induced to her. Asifa was abducted on 10 January 2018, after she had taken her horses for grazing into a forest in Kathua, and was allegedly kept in captivity for three days. Her body was found on 17 January, three days after she was killed.

The chargesheet  states that during the course of the investigation,it had been established that the victim was administered sedatives by the accused.  She was given ‘mannar’ (local cannabis brought from a village in Ghaziabad) as well as Epitril 0.5 mg on an empty stomach, says the statement.

While giving details as to how exactly the crime was orchestrated it states that Asifa was forcefully given five tablets of Clonazepam of 0.5 mg each on 11 January, 2018. Further explaining the effects of the sedative,”The signs and symptoms of an overdose may include drowsiness, confusion, impaired coordination, slow reflexes, slowed or stopped breathing, coma (loss of consciousness) and death,” reveals the medical expert’s report, which is a part of the chargesheet.

The medical expert who is head of Pharmacology, Jammu, further explains that the peak  concentration of Clonazepam is achieved in the blood after one to one and a half hours of oral administration and its absorption is complete irrespective of (whether it is) administered with or without food.

“… the expert opinion coupled with other evidence that has come on record prima-facie establishes that the victim child was continuously administered overdose of Clonazepam (Epitril) rendering her incapacitated to resist rape and murder,” the chargesheet adds.

Crime Branch has arrested Sanji Ram, custodian of the temple where the child was allegedly kept, his son Vishal and his juvenile nephew, two Special Police Officers (SPO’s) Deepak Khajuria alias Dipu and Surinder Verma and his friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu. All of them were named in the first chargesheet, submitted on 9 April earlier this year.

The chargesheet filed in the Pathankot sessions court, sums up the investigation of the Crime Branch and also gives details of the phone calls and bank accounts that led it to the accused.

The chargesheet reveals that SPO Surinder Kumar was in constant touch with two other accused, including Tilak Raj who had played a vital role in striking a deal with police, and Sanji Ram, thus leading to the destruction of crucial evidence.

“The call detail records of the accused showed that Surinder Kumar has shared common locations with other accused on crucial dates viz-a-viz commission of crime and immediately thereafter,” the chargesheet states.

According to the chargesheet, the call duration and frequency of calls between the accused also increased abruptly after the rape and murder of the girl.

It further adds that the bank transactions of Sanji Ram the temple caretaker showed an upheaval with the accused transacting between forty thousand to one hundred thousand in a span of just one month.

“During the period, the accused Sanji Ram had neither undertaken any constructional activity nor had he acquired any valuable asset nor was any social function solemnized in his family,”  the chargesheet states.

Adding that witnesses and investigations pointed out the money was paid to police officials as bribe to ensure destruction of the evidence in the case.

It further adds that Tilak Raj, who is also a Village Defence Committee (VDC) member, was a part of the team that was framed to look for the missing girl. On directions of sub inspector Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj made false statements before the investigation officer of the Crime Branch.

The Crime Branch arrested head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence. Raj and Dutta have since been dismissed from service. The supplementary chargesheet highlights the efforts of Vishal and his father Ram, alleged to be the mastermind behind the crime, to create an alibi. They were allegedly trying to show that Vishal had never visited Kathua and was actually taking an exam on 15 January.

However, the call record details reveal that Vishal was in Kathua when the crime was committed. “CDR analysis reveals that Vishal had been in constant touch with his family when in UP. Pertinently, there are no calls between Vishal and his family from 12-01-2018 to 17-01-2018 which is unusual and vouches for his presence in Raisana on crucial dates concerning crime as well as his subsequent conduct after returning to Meerut,” the chargesheet states.

The chargesheet also reveals that the accused Vishal Jangotra had not appeared in the exams as was claimed, and that the investigations of the answer sheets of Vishal’s examination papers revealed that they were manipulated.

It stated that the mobile phones of the accused that were seized and that the analysis of the data from the mobile phone of Vishal Jangotra indicated a change in behavior after the commission of rape and murder and that he was deeply perturbed, “His guilty conscience was apprehensive about his arrest in the case well before the investigating agency had taken any step on this behalf against him,” states the chargesheet on analysing the chat details of Vishal.

The chargesheet also reveals that the Juvenile nephew of Sanji Ram was expelled from school for bad behavior.

Asifa, an eight-year-old nomad Muslim girl, was abducted, raped and murdered in Kathua district leading to a nationwide campaign to seek justice for her.

 

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