In a new twist, a Jammu court on Wednesday ordered police to register an FIR against all the members of the special investigation team (SIT), which probed the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from nomad Bakarwal community in Rasana village of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district.
On a plea by Sachin Sharma, Neeraj Sharma and Sahil Sharma, who were witnesses in the case, Judicial Magistrate Prem Sagar directed Jammu senior superintendent of police (SSP) to file an FIR against the SIT team for allegedly torturing and coercing the witnesses.
SSP RK Jalla (now retired), ASP Peerzada Naveed, Deputy Superintendents of Police Shetmbari Sharma and Nissar Hussain, Sub-Inspector Urfan Wani and Kewal Kishore of crime branch were the six members of the SIT team that probed the case.
"Considered the argument of counsel for the applicant and order of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir. As per the affidavit of the counsel for applicant no proceedings are pending for disposal in the apex court with regard to the case in question," the court order said.
Prima facie, the court found that cognisable offences were made out against the eye witnesses and they were alleged forced to give false statements. The Jammu SSP has been asked to file the compliance report by November 11.
"From the gist of the complaint cognisable offences are made out against the non-applicants herein. Therefore, application of the applicant under section 153 (3) CrPC is allowed with the direction to SSP Jammu to register FIR against the non-applicants under relevant provisions of law and report compliance by next date of hearing on November 11," the order added.
In June this year, District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh sentenced to life imprisonment the three main accused, while awarding five years in jail to three others for destruction of evidence in the case that shook the nation. The trial was shifted to Pathankot in Punjab on the order of the Supreme Court after lawyers in Kathua attempted to prevent submission of the charge sheet in court. The BJP had to sack two of its state ministers, Chowdhury Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, for participating in a rally in support of the accused.
According to the chargesheet in the Kathua case, the girl, who was kidnapped on January 10 this year, was allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in the district after being kept sedated for four days before she was bludgeoned to death The abduction, rape and killing of the child was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, it said.
(With PTI Inputs)