Kathua rape: Devasthan belonged to a family and was not open to all, says Crime branch official

Case against eight accused is watertight and foolproof, says Crime Branch officer who cracked Kathua rape and murder case.

Published: 18th April 2018 12:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th April 2018 08:42 AM   |  A+A-

Kathua rape case main accused Sanji Ram was the caretaker and priest of the Devasthan. (File | PTI)

Express News Service

JAMMU: Shwetambri Sharma of J&K Police’s Crime Branch team that investigated the brutal rape and murder of the eight-year-old nomad girl of Kathua, has revealed that the case against all the eight accused is watertight and the supplementary charge sheet against them would clear all the queries.

Talking to TNIE, Shwetambri said, “Our main aim was to ensure justice to the girl. We stood our ground despite the initial protests by the family members of the victim and later by the families of the accused.”

The Crime Branch had taken over the investigation of the case on January 23, six days after the body of the minor girl was recovered with torture and violence marks and they had filed the charge sheet after an investigation that took more than 75 days.

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Presenting the charge sheet before a Chief Judicial Magistrate against the eight accused on April 9, Crime Branch gave horrific details of how the minor was kept confined in the temple, gang raped repeatedly, drugged and killed in the temple by the seven men and the minor.

Shwetambri Sharma of J&K
Police’s Crime Branch team

When asked that people were questioning how could a girl be held captive in a temple, that is visited by people daily Shwetambri said, “People are getting confused between a devasthan and a temple. A temple is a place which is open to the whole community. However, we have got kul (family) deities and a devasthan is a private worship place where only the family to whom it belongs performs the rituals. The devasthan at Rasana belonged to a family and was not open to all.”

The 2012-batch KPS officer revealed that the eight accused were able to commit the horrific crime without being detected as the main accused Sanji Ram was the caretaker and priest of the devasthan.

According to the Crime Branch, former revenue officer Sanji Ram who is the main conspirator in the brutal rape and murder case, had hatched the plan to evict nomads from the area.

Asked whether the investigation team faced pressure from the families of the accused, she said, “Our job is such that we are always under pressure. We have to deliver justice and we are trained to do that. We are trained to tackle these challenges. However, I have full faith in the judicial system. It is certain that fast-track trial of the case will be held and justice will be delivered.”

“Our investigation is foolproof as far as forensic evidence and corroborative statements are concerned. We have got documental and scientific evidence against all the accused,” said Shwetambri.

“As the details and evidence emerged about how the girl was killed, it was quite horrifying,” she said.

The Crime Branch official reveled that they have also to produce a supplementary challan against the accused.

“When the supplementary charge sheet will be produced, all the queries related to the case will be answered,” she said.

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