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'Why Majority of Kashmiris in Crime Branch Team': Citizen Group Questions Probe in Kathua Rape

The team has stated that not only was the CBI probe justified due to frequent changes in the investigation team composition but also due to the presence of "Kashmiri" officers in the team.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:May 4, 2018, 1:26 PM IST
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'Why Majority of Kashmiris in Crime Branch Team': Citizen Group Questions Probe in Kathua Rape
Illustration by Mir Suhail / News18
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New Delhi: A fact finding team formed by Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA) submitted its report on the Kathua rape case to member of PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, and demanded a CBI probe in the case after raising a serious of questions on the investigation carried by Jammu Crime Branch.

The fact finding team had visited Jammu from April 23 to April 26 and had met all the key players of the case, including the members of the families of the accused, the lawyer of the accused, Jammu Bar association members, among others before coming to a conclusion.

The team has stated that not only was the CBI probe justified due to frequent changes in the investigation team composition but also due to the presence of "Kashmiri" officers in the team.

"Three investigating teams rapidly changed one after another within a span of 10 days from January 12 to January 23. The crime branch team consists of two ethnic Kashmiris apart from the SSP Crime Branch Jammu who is also Kashmiri. In a sensitive case like this one and interstate like Jammu and Kashmir, this matters," notes the report.

"The demand for a CBI enquiry into the Kathua case is a legitimate demand. Not only justice be done it also must be seen to be done," reads the final statement of the report.

The team consisted of Meera Khadakkar, Retired District Judge, Nagpur, Monika Arora, Supreme Court Advocate, Sarjana Sharma, Journalist, Sonali Chitalkar, Professor and Monica Aggarwal, Social activist.

The FFT has also questioned the veracity of the post-mortem report and states that it was changed after being reserved for further opinion.

"The charge sheet mentions gangrape by at least three persons over many days. This is not corroborated by the injuries described in the postmortem report. No such injuries are reported on the victim in the Kathua incident which according to the chargesheet is a gangrape. Postmortem report only mentions abrasions but no injuries," states the report.

Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, who hails from Jammu, stated the need for an "unbiased investigation" while receiving the report.

"Our only aim is that the culprits are punished. There should be proper and unbiased investigation into the case. Justice should not have been done but also appear to have been done. If one is not a culrptit, they should not be embroiled into this," said Dr Singh.

The report questions the place where the child was allegedly abducted, kidnapped and raped. It states that it was not a Mandir or Devisthan but a "Devsthaan".

"It is a sparsely furnished room and can a girl of four feet be hidden under the table which is three and half feet and was this site a secluded place where a girl could be sedated and hidden?" questions the report.

The report has listed down 15 unanswered questions. Some of them are like, "Why was the Crime Scene the devsthan not sealed? Why was the body not thrown somewhere in the deep forest but found just 100m behind the house of the main accused Sanjhi Ram? Who click the photograph of the deceased with a high-resolution camera?"

Further through a CBI probe the team has questioned as to why a "crucial information was ignored by the crime branch" though reiterated by the Rasna dwellers.

"Residence of the village have repeatedly reported that in the night of January 16, 2018, the main transformers supplying electricity to the entire village suffered a burst and consequently there was no electricity in the entire village. Around 2:30 a.m, during the period of blackout, two persons covered in blankets around them and riding a bullet entered the village and left the village after 30 minutes," notes the fact finding report.

The report notes that "many villagers had to leave Rasana due to harassment by the crime branch" which has also been termed as migration of Hindus due to harassment of Crime Branch."

Even the nationalism of the Gujjar-Bakherwal community has been given importance. "The gujjar bakherwals are a nationalistic community. The team found that villagers of Rasana are extremely nationalist and most of them are ex-servicemen what are serving in the forces," states the report.
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