Jammu, Apr 13: “I miss my daughter everyday,” said the father of the 8-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted, drugged, raped and killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua in January this year. The man, who is running from pillar to post to ensure justice for his daughter, has demanded death penalty for the culprits. “Those responsible for killing my daughter should be hanged till death,” he said.

The victim’s father, along with his wife, two children and livestock abandoned their home in Kathua out of fear on Tuesday soon after a strike was called by the Jammu Bar Association to protest against mishandling the investigation into the Kathua rape case by Jammu and Kashmir police. On January 10, the eight-year-old girl from the Bakarwal community was kidnapped when she was grazing her horses, kept in a temple managed by Sanji Ram, drugged, gangraped and murdered. On January 14, she was strangulated and also bludgeoned to death to make sure she was dead.  (Also Read: Kathua and Unnao Rape Case: Mehbooba Mufti, Yogi Adityanath Break Silence)

The chargesheet, submitted to the Kathua chief judicial magistrate, revealed gruesome facts in the case. It stated that the key accused, Sanji Ram, a retired revenue official, was against the settlement of the Bakarwals in Rasana Kootah, and Dhamyal area of Kathua district and hence, wanted to drive them out of the city. Another reason for the growing hatred for the Bakarwals was cow slaughter.

The Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police filed two separate chargesheets against the eight accused persons including a juvenile held in the case. According to investigators, the girl was held captive inside a ‘Devisthan’, gangraped, kept without food and administered sedatives. Her cause of death was asphyxia leading to cardio-pulmonary arrest, the investigations revealed.

“On the basis of opinion furnished by the experts, one of the hair strands recovered from the Devisthan matched with the DNA profile of victim which confirmed that she was kept in captivity at Devisthan which is exclusively manned by the mastermind Sanji Ram to the exclusion of any other person of the area,” the charge sheet read.

Similarly, the hair strand recovered from the place of recovery of the body matched with the DNA profile of the juvenile who raped the girl several times after abducting her, it said. Accused police officials – Sub Inspector Anand Dutta and Head Constable Tilak Raj – failed in their efforts to destroy the evidence by washing the clothes worn by the deceased after receiving Rs 4 lakh from the mastermind, it said. FSL Delhi with updated technology was able to confirm the presence of blood stains on the clothes of the victim which matched with her DNA profile, it further said, adding DNA profiling also established presence of victims blood on the vaginal smears.

“As per the report of medical experts, the victim was found prima facie raped before being killed,” the police said. The crime branch said the investigation also established that the victim was raped by more than one accused with common intention. “The medical opinion also established the fact that the victim had been kept without food and administered sedatives and her cause of death was asphyxia leading to cardio-pulmonary arrest, the charge sheet said.

With inputs from agencies