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 Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

REUTERS ■

San­jhi Ram be­ing brought to the District and Ses­sions Court in Kathua on Mon­day.

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