Accused want narco tests
Trial in the rape and murder of eight-year-old girl begins; further hearing to be taken up on April 28
The trial in the Kathua rape and murder case started in the District and Sessions Court in Kathua on Monday. Two of the eight accused, Sanjhi Ram and Deepak Khajuria, have sought narco analysis tests as they pleaded not guilty.
Two of the eight accused in the gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua have asked for narco-analysis tests as they pleaded not guilty.
The trial in the case started in the District and Sessions Court in Kathua on Monday.
Seven of the eight accused were produced in the court of Judge Sanjay Gupta, who posted the matter for further hearing on April 28. The court also asked the Crime Branch of the J&K Police to give copies of the chargesheet to the accused.
Police not for tests
The former revenue official Sanjhi Ram and special police officer Deepak Khajuria told presspersons outside the court that they were willing to undergo narco-analysis tests.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch, Ramesh Kumar Jalla told The
Hindu that the police did not plan to subject the accused to the tests as of now.
The eighth accused is a juvenile, who has moved a bail application before the Chief Judicial Magistrate. The matter was posted for April 26.
The case was handed over to the Crime Branch on January 22.
The victim went missing on January 10; a week later her body was found in a forest near her house.
According to the Crime Branch investigation, the girl was confined in a temple, sedated and raped thrice before being suffocated and bludgeoned to death.
The chargesheet said Sanjhi Ram, the caretaker of the temple, was the main conspirator. He was allegedly joined by Khajuria, special police officer Surender Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar, alias Mannu, Ram’s nephew, a juvenile, and Ram’s son Vishal Jangotra.
Jangotra, who was studying in a college in Uttar Pradesh, travelled to Kathua allegedly to participate in the crime. Head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took ₹4 lakh from Ram to destroy crucial evidence, have also been named in the chargesheet.
Immediately after the brief hearing in the sessions court, the seven accused were shifted back to jail under heavy security.
Amid heavy security
As the trial began inside the court, Sanjhi Ram’s daughter Madhu Sharma protested outside, demanding a CBI investigation.
There was heavy police presence at the Kathua court complex following the protests on April 9 when members of the local Bar association did not allow the Crime Branch to submit its chargesheet.
The issue of providing the accused copies of the challan, or the chargesheet, was raised before the judge by Ankush Sharma, appearing for Ram, his son and others.
Sanjhi Ram being brought to the District and Sessions Court in Kathua on Monday.