New Delhi, Apr 13: While the villagers in Rasana village sat on a hunger strike demanding a CBI investigation into the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua city in Jammu, the family of the victim quietly abandoned their home out of fear. The victim’s father left the home along with his wife, two children and livestock 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.

The victim’s family, according to the reports, was supposed to leave for Kashmir next month. The family decided to abandon their home soon after the strikes and protests. His brother told Firstpost that he didn’t want to leave their home in the Rasana village but felt insecure in living there and decided to abandon it amid the rising communal tension in Kathua. “They left late in the night when no one could see them. They are travelling with their livestock and must have reached Patnitop by now,” Akhtar told Firstpost.

The victim’s father had adopted the eight-year-old girl from his brother after two of his daughters died in an accident. It was his wife who had prompted him to adopt the girl from his brother.

On January 10, an 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. A police sub-inspector, a head constable and two special police officers have also been charged for taking a bribe to destroy the evidence.

The chargesheet, submitted to the Kathua chief judicial magistrate, which charts out the gruesome facts in the case, states 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.

“During investigation, it transpired that a particular community had a general impression that the Bakarwals indulge in cow slaughter and drug trafficking”, the 18-page chargesheet filed by the police in the court says. The conspiracy was charted to drive the Bakarwal community out of the area. The co-cnspirators, according to the reports, had asked Sanji Ram to “chalk out a strategy for dislodging” them

“He also utilized the services of Ex- Sarpanch of Kootah and Rasana area against said Harnam Singh and managed to stop the payment on account of installation of telephone towers in his land through the concerned tehsildar on the plea that the land in question was a state land. Ultimately Harnam Singh approached the Hon’ble High court and got the impugned order of Tehsildar quashed,” the chargesheet mentions.