#Kathua: Accused demands narco test, next hearing on April 28

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Srinagar

All the eight accused were produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Kathua A.S. Langeh amid tight security as the trial started today, who has postponed the hearing in the matter for April 28.

The eight, including Sanji Ram, the alleged mastermind of the heinous crime, were produced before CJM Kathua, All the eight people accused asked the judge for a narco test. The court asked the state Crime Branch to give copies of the charge sheet to the accused, reports said.

Reports said that as the trial began inside the court, Ram’s daughter Madhu Sharma protested outside, demanding a CBI probe.

There was the heavy police presence at the Kathua complex following the tension on April 9 when members of the local bar association did not allow the Crime Branch to submit its charge sheet in the case.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, to ensure “neutrality” in Kathua rape and murder case which has polarised the state.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Crime Branch filed the charge sheet in Kathua rape and murder case last week. In chilling revelations, the charge sheet said the eight-year-old girl, belonging to the Bakherwal community, was allegedly raped by six men, who had held her in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January. The minor was kept sedated and sexually assaulted once again before she was bludgeoned to death, revealed the charge sheet.

The abduction, rape and killing of the Bakherwal girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, the chargesheet added. It lists the caretaker of the Devisthan (small temple), Sanji Ram as the main conspirator behind the abduction, rape and killing. He 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 charge sheet 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. “In the course of the investigation, it transpired that Ram was against the settlement of Bakherwals in Rassana, Kootah and Dhamyal area and always kept on motivating members of his community not to provide land for grazing or any other kind of assistance to them,” the investigation said.

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