Srinagar, Mar 11: As “mastermind” named by Jammu and Kashmir police in Kathua minor rape and murder, who is a bureaucrat, is yet to be arrested, family of the minor has alleged that pace of the investigation was being stifled politically.
“According to the police’s Crime Branch, 60-year-old Sanji Ram, a retired revenue officer, who was the main driver in the Hindu Ekta Manch protests against the Crime Branch probe, allegedly “motivated” Deepak Khajuria, a Special Police Officer and key accused to kidnap, rape and murder the girl with the intent of driving out Muslim nomad families from Rasana village in Jammu,” reported NDTV.
The girl was kidnapped on January 10 after which she was drugged and raped, while her mutilated body was found on January 17, mentioned the report.
Four accused, including two Special Police Officers, have been arrested in the case, the report said.
“The Crime Branch has also arrested two policemen, including a sub-Inspector, for allegedly destroying evidence. The cops from Kathua district Police, investigating the case, had allegedly washed the blood-soaked clothes of victim before sending the evidence to forensic laboratory. The Crime Branch’s investigation has met with stiff resistance from the Hindu Ekta Manch. The group has been protesting against what they say are wrongful arrests. Even the BJP Ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government have joined the chorus against the probe and demanded that the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation,” said the report.
Quoting officials, the report says Sanji Ram is also the custodian of the facility, referred to as “Devasthan”, where the 8-year-old girl was allegedly held captive for a week.
Denying the allegations, the report quoted Ram saying: “I am not only person having keys of devasthan. People from seven villages come there and everyone has a key.”
The nomad families allege the Crime Branch has given in to protests and political pressure and deliberately avoided to arrest Ram, the report said.
“Why has the Crime Branch not arrested Sanji Ram when they say he’s the mastermind? All the protests are taking place to shield him. This shows the direction where the probe is headed,” report quoted Talib Hussain, a nomad activist who is also related to the family, as having said.
“The police are just trying to destroy the evidence and hush-up the case and this is now known to everyone,” report further quoted Hussain as having said.
The Crime Branch submitted the status report of the investigation before the high court in Jammu on Friday, said the report.
The court will hear the case on Wednesday, it mentioned.
The investigating agency has denied any political pressure, mentioned the report. “Investigation is being conducted in an impartial manner,” the report quoted SA Mujtaba, Inspector General of Crime Branch as having said.