New Delhi, Apr 12: The investigation into the Kathua rape case states that the motive of the crime was to drive away the Muslim Bakarwal community from the Hiranagar tehsil. The chargesheet, submitted to the Kathua chief judicial magistrate, 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. Among other reasons was the suspicion of cow slaughter by the Bakarwal community leading to the brutal assault on the eight-year-old girl.

Sanji Ram had also been motivating the members of Hindu community to not let the Bakarwal community settle and graze their horses on their lands, the chargesheet mentioned. Sanji Ram had also stopped one Harnam Singh from selling a piece of land to a member of the Bakarwal community.

“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.

The general impression that the Hindu community had about the Bakarwal community was that they indulge in “cow slaughter” and “drug trafficking” which was turning their children into “drug addicts”. “During investigation, it transpired that a particular community had a general impression that the Bakarwals indulge in cow slaughter and drug trafficking”, says the 18-page chargesheet filed by the police in the court.

As a result, the chargesheet states, the Hindu community members had been “blaming the Bakarwals on one pretext or the other and used to threaten them”. In fact, the co-conspirators in the crime were also against the settlement of the Bakarwal community in the area. They, according to the reports, had asked Sanji Ram to “chalk out a strategy for dislodging” them. (Also Read: Crime branch records statements of 22 witnesses in Kathua rape-cum-murder case)

“The conspiracy ultimately resulting into the gruesome rape and brutal murder of an innocent child of only 8 years of age, who being a small kid became a soft target,” says the chargesheet. Ram also prompted his juvenile nephew into committing the crime. The juvenile accused called and informed Sanji Ram’s son Vishal Jangotra in Meerut and asked him to come if he wanted to satisfy his “lust”.

An eight-year-old girl from the Bakarwal community was kidnapped on January 10, drugged and kept in the temple managed by Sanji Ram. She was repeatedly drugged and gangraped. 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.