kathua case

Three witnesses allege torture, move HC against Crime Branch

JAMMU: Three witnesses in the Kathua rape-and-murder case on Tuesday filed a writ petition in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court against the Special Investigating Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch for allegedtorture and harassmentby it and manufacturing false evidences against Vishal Jangotra, one of the accused charged with committing the heinous crime in the Crime Branch chargesheet.

Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 31

Three witnesses in the Kathua rape-and-murder case on Tuesday filed a writ petition in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court against the Special Investigating Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch for allegedtorture and harassmentby it and manufacturing false evidences against Vishal Jangotra, one of the accused charged with committing the heinous crime in the Crime Branch chargesheet.

In the 51-page writ, the three petitioners pleaded before the High Court to direct the authorities concerned to register an FIR against the SIT members for committing atrocities and pay compensation to the tune of Rs 50 lakh each for physical and mental agony and for loss of their studies and future prospects.

Advocate Ankur Sharma, who filed the petition on behalf of the witnesses, told reporters that the petition had been admitted and the court had sought a reply from the Home Secretary and all individual members of the SIT.

“The interim prayer of the petitioners for the appointment of a Judicial Magistrate to enquire the matter and submit the fact-finding report to the High Court will be decided on August 29,” he said.

“Petitioners Sahil Sharma, 20, Neeraj Sharma, 18, and Sachin Sharma, 19, were coerced to make statements contrary to the fact that Vishal Jangotra was with them at Miranpur, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, from January 7 to 10, 2018. During that period, he (Vishal) along with the petitioners had attended his examinations and practical papers,” Sharma said, while quoting the petition.

“The petitioners were subjected to physical and mental torture from March 19 to 31, 2018, by the SIT team members. During the period, the petitioners were in the custody of the Crime Branch as it used to release them late night when there would be no public transport and call them early next morning,” Sharma said.

The petitioners are students of BSc Agriculture at Aakanksha College, Miranpur, UP, and are the classmates of one of the accused, Vishal Jangotra.

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