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J&K: 8-year-old girl raped, murdered to create fear among Bakerwal community

JammuDNA tests of the nomadic girl raped and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district in January this year have confirmed that she was held captive inside a temple before being murder, police officials said on Wednesday.

Top sources in the state police Crime branch said that the DNA of hair strands found inside the temple matched with those of 8-year old girl who was raped and subsequently murdered in Rasana village of Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua.

“The temple premises were searched for evidence and clues after one of the accused confirmed the minor had been held in captivity inside the temple,” a Crime Branch source said.

The postmortem report of the victim has already confirmed that she had been sedated before being raped and murdered.

Sanji Ram, a retired official of the Revenue Department is believed to have masterminded the heinous crime to create fear among the nomad ‘Bakerwal’ (goatherd) community in the village so that they could be pushed out.

He is the custodian of the temple where the girl was allegedly held in captivity.

According to the report published in Indian Express, the victim, a minor girl was gang-raped thrice inside prayer hall. One of the accused was called from Meerut to commit this heinous crime. Later, accused killed the girl by strangling and hitting on her head with a stone. Just before the death of the girl, a cop allegedly raped her once again.

The Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch on Monday presented in the court of Kathua’s Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) a charge-sheet against seven people accused of raping and murdering the minor girl.

“The seven accused are 60-year-old Sanji Ram, Special Police Officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, Head Constable Tilak Raj, civilian Parvesh Kumar and Sanji’s minor son Vishala,” police said. The charge-sheet against the juvenile was separately presented.

MLA switches off the phone when asked for comments

Kathua MLA Rajiv Jasrotia on Wednesday evaded questions about the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in his constituency.

When ANI tried to contact Jasrotia for his reaction on the rape case, he sent a text message: “Sir, I am going to hospital as my mother-in-law is not well.”

Later, repeated efforts to contact the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA turned futile as his mobile phone was switched off.

The girl was allegedly abducted, drugged, raped, tortured and killed in January.

The victim belonged to a nomadic Muslim tribe in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. After being missing for a week, her body was found on January 17.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Police filed an FIR against lawyers of Jammu who tried to prevent Crime Branch officers from filing a charge sheet in a court on Monday in connection with the Kathua rape and murder case.

A special team of the crime branch has made a case of conspiracy, kidnapping, wrongful confinement, gang rape, murder and destruction of evidence against eight accused, which include: a retired state government official, his son and a minor nephew, four police officials and a civilian.


With inputs from IANS/ANI

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