A Jammu and Kashmir policeman has alleged that his senior did not deposit the clothes of the eight-year-old victim in the Kathua rape and murder case to the police station warehouse in order to tamper with the evidence, according to an Economic Times report. Also Read - Kashmir Photographer Masrat Zahra Wins IWMF's 'Courage In Photojournalism Award'
Appearing before the trial court on Monday, head constable Surinder Pal alleged that sub inspector Anand Dutta also intimidated him to record backdated entries when he submitted “concocted” evidence the following day. Also Read - Suspended DSP Davinder Singh Was Not Given Any Award by Home Ministry, Clarifies J-K Police
Dutta is a co-accused in the January 2018 incident where an eight-year-old girl belonging to a minority nomadic community was abducted, gangraped and later brutally killed. Also Read - Top J&K Cop Arrested With Two Hizbul Terrorists in His Car, Was on Way to Delhi
Pal said that Dutta had come to the Hiranagar police station on January 18 – a day after the minor victim’s body was found – with three pieces of evidence which included a hair band, dupatta (scarf), and shoes of the deceased.
According to the rules, property related to a case which is sealed by the investigative agency has to be submitted in the malkhana (warehouse) of the concerned police station. However, Dutta did not deposit the evidence he had brought. On January 19, he again came to the police station with three pieces – ash, astone, and a lock and key, according to Pal’s submission.
Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch has claimed that Dutta had concocted these three pieces of evidence to confuse the investigation and disprove the theory that the girl was kept in a temple.
Dutta had claimed that the girl was kept in a cowshed close to the devasthan (temple).
The clothes sent for examination to the forensic science laboratory (FSL), along with samples of clay recovered from the spot where the body was found, was totally clean.
Last month, forensic medical experts claimed that the victim girl was forcibly administered with an overdose of sedatives, which could have pushed her into coma.
The doctors, after examining the viscera, opined that the medicine administered to the victim contained Clonazepam salt and had to be administered under medical supervision keeping in mind the age and weight of the patient.
About The Case
The eight-year-old child belonging to a minority nomadic community was allegedly kidnapped on January 10 by a juvenile nephew of the main accused, Sanji Ram, and later killed on January 14. Her body was recovered on January 17.
According to investigators, Sanji Ram was aware she had been kidnapped but didn’t know about the rape.
Besides Sanji Ram and his juvenile nephew, others named in the charge sheet filed by the crime branch are his son Vishal, special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma and friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu.
It also names head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta — who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Sanji Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.
The district and sessions court in Pathankot framed charges of rape and murder against the seven accused in the case on June 8.
Sanji Ram, considered the main accused, is alleged to have hatched the conspiracy with the other accused for kidnapping the girl as part of a strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area.
The fate of the eighth accused, a juvenile, was yet to be decided after the crime branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police moved an application in the high court claiming him to be an adult.