In a fresh twist in the Kathua rape and murder case, the Jammu court has ordered to lodge an FIR against six SIT members, who had probed the case, for indulging in custodial torture of witnesses, criminal intimidation and manufacturing of false evidence. It is alleged that the SIT members wanted to implicate Vishal Jangotra in the case by forcing the witnesses to give false statements against him. Vishal is the son of the main accused Sanjhi Ram, who was convicted by the trial court in the case, while Vishal was acquitted.
The applicants, namely Sachin Sharma, Neeraj Sharma and Sahil Sharma had sought registration of FIR U/s 193 RPC and other relevant provisions of law against all the non-applicants (the six members of the SIT) on the grounds that the members probing the case indulged in custodial torture, criminal intimidation and manufacturing of false evidence against accused Vishal Jangotra in the FIR no 10 in 2018. The applicants were witnesses in the Kathua rape and murder case, and they had approached the Jammu court alleging that the SIT had forced them to give false statements against Vishal Jangotra. They also alleged that they were tortured by the SIT members in custody to extract false statements from them.
The applicants approached the SHO of Pacca Ganga police station with the complaints against SIT, and after no action was taken by police, they had sent a letter dated 5th October 2019 through registered post to the SSP of Jammu, for the registration of an FIR against the six SIT members. The complainants had alleged that even after that no action was taken by Jammu police, after which they approached the Jammu court. The court heard the matter and today ordered the Jammu police to register an FIR against the accused SIT members under relevant provisions of the law and report compliances to the court on the next date of hearing on 7th November 2019.
The order issued by Jammu court mentioned that since Vishal Jangotra was acquitted under the court of law and has been exonerated from all the charges levelled against him, it is further proved that the SIT members had deliberately tortured witnesses in custody and compelled them to dispose of false statements against Vishal, depicting malafide on the part of the members of SIT probing the sensitive case of the eight-year-old girl belonging to Bakarwal community. The minor girl was allegedly kidnapped on January 10, 2018, after which she was gang-raped and murdered.
As per the court order, FIR will be registered against SSP R K Jalla (now retired), Additional Superintendent of Police Peerzada Naveed, Deputy Superintendents of Police Shetmbari Sharma and Nissar Hussain, Sub-Inspector Urfan Wani and Kewal Kishore, all from Crime Branch of Jammu police.
The courts have sentenced Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar to life imprisonment while the remaining three- SI Anand Dutta, head constable Tilak Raj and special police officer Surender Verma have been sentenced to five years for destruction of evidence.
The District and Sessions Pathankot court judge Tejwinder Singh had handed life imprisonment to Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar under the Sections 302 (murder), 376D (gang rape) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC). They have also been sentenced to 25 years of rigorous imprisonment, and all the sentences would run concurrently. These three convicts are also ordered to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh each.
According to the allegations mentioned in the charge sheet, an 8-year old girl was abducted and drugged before she was raped multiple times by several men. The charge sheet also mentions that the victim was held under captivity before being brutally murdered.