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Posted at: May 4, 2018, 8:57 PM; last updated: May 5, 2018, 4:56 PM (IST)

Kathua case: 'Fact-finding' team questions autopsy reports, police investigations

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 4

A government fact-finding team inquiring into the rape and murder of a young nomad girl in Kathua has questioned police investigations into the case.

Group of Intellectuals and Academicians, a not-for-profit organisation, said a team comprising retired district judge Meera Khadakkar, Supreme Court advocate Monika Arora, senior journalist Sarjana Shanna, Delhi University Assistant Professor Sonali Chitalkar and social activist Monicca Agarwaal visited Kathua on April 23 and 24.

In its report, the team has questioned investigations in the case, such as why the autopsy report did not mention injuries to the victim’s private parts.

”The Government of Jammu and Kashmir need to hear the voices of Jammu and not take steps that increase alienation of the population of Jammu,” the report, handed over to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of state in PMO Jitendra Singh, asking for The Central Bureau of Investigation to take over the case to “not only assuage the insecurities of the people of Jammu but also rectify blatant inconsistencies in the case as documented in the report”.

Arora said there were inconsistencies in police’s account of the case.

“The investigations have been completely shoddy. There are many loopholes and unanswered questions," she added.

The questions


The report questions in consistencies in findings of two autopsy reports—one on January 17 and the second on March 19, and asks how the victim who was confined in a Devsthan, a place frequented by people of nearby villages, went unnoticed.

Questions asked

— The place where police said the victim was kept for six days was a Devstan frequented by people from three villages. It is impossible to keep a girl hidden at that place, that too during festival time.

— Why were the investigating teams changed thrice within a span of l0 days?

—Why are there discrepancies in postmortem examinations done on January 17 and March 19? The first report states presence of digested materials in the intestine, whereas the second negates it.

—Why was the crime scene, the Devsthan, not sealed? Why was the body not thrown somewhere in deep forest or nallah, but found merely 100 meters behind the house of the main accused Sanjhi Ram?

— Why were no injuries found or reported in the postmortem on the victim’s private parts?

— Why no blood stains found on the floor of the Devsthan after the alleged repeated rape?
— Why were no evidence of urine or stool found in the Devsthan even when the post mortem report states that the intestine was full of digested material?

‘Sub-judice’

Minister of State Jitendra Singh said that it would not be in “anyone’s interest to speak of a case sub-judice”.

"There can be no pardon for such cruel crimes. There should be strictest possible punishment for their perpetrators. At the same time, it is also our responsibility to see that if someone is innocent, he or she is given justice. I am sure the court will take cognizance of all this," he added

The rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl from the nomadic Bakarwal community triggered widespread outrage and cost two BJP leaders ministerial jobs in the Mehbooba Mufti-led BJP-PDP coalition government.

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