Agencies: An eight-year-old girl was held captive, starved, sedated and repeatedly raped inside a ‘devisthan’ in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district before being murdered and dumped in a nearby forest. This was on January 17. Nearly three months later, India has finally woken up to the horror the child suffered, details of which have been chronicled in the chargesheet filed by the police.
The abduction, rape and killing of the girl from the Bakherwal community was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, the 15-page chargesheet filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Crime Branch in the chief judicial magistrate’s court said. It lists the caretaker of the Devisthan, a small temple, in Rassana village in Kathua, as the main conspirator behind the abduction, rape and killing.
Sanji Ram was allegedly joined by special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, Ram’s nephew, a juvenile, and his son Vishal Jangotra alias “Shamma”. The chargesheet also names investigating officers — head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.
A separate chargesheet was filed on Tuesday on the role of the juvenile, who cannot be publicly named according to the law. All eight are under arrest. As chilling details from the chargesheet made their way to public discourse, politicians and celebrities took to social media, with Union minister VK Singh among the first to comment from the Centre.