The horrendous gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua, which ashamed the humanity once again, has led to outrage across the nation at the agony that the victim went through before being bludgeoned to death.
All eight accused, including Sanji Ram – the caretaker of the temple in Rasanna village where the girl was purportedly kept for seven days – who is the mastermind of the shameful act, have been arrested.
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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".
India TV reporters went to the Rasanna village, the place that the eight-year-old victim belonged to and the incident took place, to know what exactly happened three months ago that has now led to a nationwide outrage, after the chargesheet elucidated horrifying details of the act.
Here is what the the eight-year-old girl went through three months ago:
The girl went missing on January 10 while grazing horses in the forest. Investigators said the accused abducted the girl on the pretext of helping her find her horses.
The day after their daughter went missing, the parents went to the Devisthan and asked Ram about her whereabouts. He said she may have gone to a relative's house.
The girl’s body was recovered from a forest near the Rasanna village on January 17, exactly a week after she went missing. Soon after, the police were informed along with her family.
After an initial investigation of the spot, police said that the girl was killed by monkeys. However, the dead body clearly showed that she was brutally tortured and strangled to death.
Facts emerged clear when the postmortem report stated that the minor was gangraped multiple times before being murdered.
The report also stated that the girl was strangulated with a ‘dupatta’ and then her head was smashed with a stone.
Ram surrendered on March 20 after his son was arrested from Uttar Pradesh a day earlier.
On January 23, about a week after the body was discovered, the government handed over the case to the Crime Branch, which formed a Special Investigation Team.
After the body was recovered, head constable Raj, who knew about the conspiracy, met Ram at his home and requested him to hand over one of the accused as things had gone out of control due to the agitation by the Bakerwals.
Investigations revealed that Ram gave Rs 4 lakh to the police officers investigating the case in three instalments.
The investigation explained in detail how the accused police officials destroyed crucial evidence by washing the clothes of the victim before sending them to the forensic laboratory and created false evidence at the scene.
"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.
According to the chargesheet, Ram – the main conspirator – instigated his juvenile nephew and six others to execute the carefully planned strategy to remove the nomadic Muslim community of Bakherwals from the area.
The accused gave the girl sedatives to make her unconscious while holding her in captivity at the ‘Devisthan'.
The juvenile, a school dropout, turned out to be the main player in the abduction and murder, raping the child repeatedly along with Jangotra and Khajuria.
On January 11, six days before the child's body was recovered from the Rassana forest on January 17, the juvenile phoned his cousin Jangotra and asked him to return from Meerut where he was studying if he wanted to "satisfy his lust", the chargesheet stated.