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Posted at: May 21, 2018, 12:03 AM; last updated: May 21, 2018, 12:36 PM (IST)

Kathua case: Accused’s signatures don’t match with exam sheet

Vishal, son of main conspirator Sanji Ram, had claimed he was in Meerut college
Kathua case: Accused’s signatures don’t match with exam sheet
A file photo of a protest over the Kathua murder in Srinagar.

Srinagar, May 20

The signatures of Vishal Jangotra, an accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in January, does not match the one which he claimed to have signed in an exam attendance sheet in Meerut to claim he was not at the crime scene, according to a report of forensic experts.

The report by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), detailing this conclusion, has been submitted to the crime branch of the J&K Police, according to officials in the probe team.

The crime branch, meanwhile, issued notices to all three friends of Vishal for appearing before it for questioning tomorrow after the Supreme Court gave a go-ahead on May 17 for their further examination.

The officials said the report had stated that Vishal had not put the signature on the attendance sheet and it was done by someone else.

Vishal, one of the eight accused arrested in the case for raping and murdering the girl from the minority nomadic community, had claimed that he was in Meerut and had never visited Kathua when the crime was committed. He had also told the investigators that he had signed the attendance sheet before the exam on January 15.

The crime branch had sent the attendance sheet to the CFSL for having an opinion as the probe indicated that the signatures appeared to have been made by some friend of Vishal as his train from Jammu to Meerut was late and he had reached Meerut after the examination was over, officials said.

The questioner of examined documents (QED), who is an expert on examination of handwriting samples, opined that the signatures on the attendance sheet did not match with that of Vishal, son of Sanji Ram, the alleged mastermind of the murder, the officials said.

The police wanted to again question his three friends — Sachin, Neeraj and Sahil — but they had approached the SC earlier this month alleging harassment by the crime branch. The apex court on May 17 directed them to appear before the crime branch but said in its order that “a relative of each of the witnesses shall be allowed to accompany him, but the said relative shall not enter into the investigation room. However, he shall remain at a reasonably visible distance.”

The SC made it clear that these directions “should not remotely be inferred that there is any kind of harassment by the investigating agency”. The officials said that the three would be questioned tomorrow and all the directions of the apex court would be adhered to.

In its chargesheet, the crime branch had mentioned that some officials of the university had allegedly received a “huge amount as kickback from accused Sanji Ram”.

“The aspect needs further investigation as records are to be collected from the college and university concerned... after conducting further investigation a supplementary charge sheet shall follow,” the chargesheet had said.

Vishal is among the eight persons chargesheeted by the crime branch in the rape and murder of the girl. The charge sheet also claimed that Sanji, who has been termed as a main conspirator, had planned the kidnapping of the girl only to drive away nomads fromKathua.

The crime branch has alleged in the charge sheet that Vishal had tried to create an alibi of his absence from the crime scene by allegedly “resorting to manipulation of records and creation of false evidence with the connivance and assistance of his father Sanji Ram”.

Vishal, who is pursuing bachelor of agriculture from a college in Meerut, has been charged by the crime branch with raping and helping in the murder of the girl along with a juvenile (main accused and a relative of Sanji Ram) and SPODeepak Khajuria, alias Deepu. The girl was kidnapped on January 10 and her body was recovered on January 17. She was murdered on January 14 and her body had been dumped in a jungle. — PTI

Crime branch to again quiz his 3 friends

  • The crime branch has issued notices to all three friends of Vishal for appearing before it for questioning on Monday after the Supreme Court gave a go-ahead on May 17 for their further examination
  • Officials said the forensic report had stated that Vishal had not put the signature on the attendance sheet and it was done by someone else
  • The probe indicates that the signature appears to have been made by some friend of Vishal as his train to Meerut was late and he had reached Meerut after the exam

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