Kathua rape and murder victim was sexually assaulted, died of asphyxia

The doctors who conducted the postmortem said the victim was subjected to sexual assault and cited asphyxia as the reason behind her death. 

Published: 09th September 2018 03:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2018 04:47 AM   |  A+A-

The Kathua gang-rape and murder of a minor girl led to massive protests throughout the country. (File | EPS)

By Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: The Kathua rape victim was sexually assaulted and she died of asphyxia, the doctors who conducted a post-mortem on the eight-year-old girl told a court in Pathankot. Fifty-four witnesses have deposed before the court in the trial in the rape and murder case. The girl was allegedly repeatedly assaulted before being killed at a village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district in January.

Special Public Prosecutor J K Chopra said the doctors who conducted the post-mortem recorded their statement before the court of the chief judicial magistrate recently. They said the victim was subjected to sexual assault and cited asphyxia as the reason behind her death, Chopra, who has been representing the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Crime Branch, said. Pathankot District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh is hearing the case after it was transferred on the orders of the Supreme Court on a plea filed by the victim’s family.

The district and sessions court framed charges of rape and murder against seven accused in the case on June 8. The crime branch had earlier arrested Sanji Ram, the custodian of a temple where the child was allegedly confined, 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.

Ram, considered the main accused, allegedly hatched the conspiracy to kidnap the girl as part of a strategy to remove a minority community from the area. The crime branch had also 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.

Case strengthened

Doctors who conducted the postmortem on the girl told the court that she was sexually assaulted. The doctors’ statements have strengthened the prosecution case, said Special Public Prosecutor J K Chopra

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