Kathua rape case: Officer reveals how Sanji Ram was caught
Earlier this week, an eight-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped and brutally murdered finally got justice. The horror unleashed on the minor in Kathua, Jammu, showed everyone there isn't a difference between humans and devils. Now, the officer who investigated the crime has revealed how he nabbed Sanji Ram, the prime accused and chief conspirator, of the horrific case. More details here.
The victim, who belonged to nomadic Bakarwal community, was kidnapped in January 2018. She was taken to a local temple where she was drugged, starved, raped, and killed. Her body was found near a forest days later, and an investigation was launched. Police arrested eight people, including a juvenile. Shockingly, protests were held supporting the accused after which the case was shifted to Pathankot court.
The in-camera day-to-day trial court proceedings began in June last year and ended earlier this month. More than 100 witnesses were produced. On Monday, the court sentenced Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Parwesh Kumar to life imprisonment. Three policemen, namely Anand Dutta, Tikal Raj, and Surinder Singh, got five years for destroying crucial evidence. Sanji Ram's son Vishal was acquitted.
The probe was headed by RK Jalla, one of the most decorated officers of Jammu and Kashmir police. He was given the case on January 27, 2018. Jalla, who retired three months ago, spoke about the ordeals his team faced. After visiting the crime scene, Jalla went to speak with Sanji Ram. The officer asked about his nephew and son Vishal.
Jalla recalled Sanji Ram conveyed to him that his son Vishal was in Meerut and he can go through his CDR (Call Data Record). "I started wondering about two things -- why is he insisting that I should go and check Vishal's call records and second, why the hell is he sweating on a chilly morning of January," Jalla told PTI.
The Pathankot court acquitted Vishal in absence of evidence, and this is something which Jalla regrets. He hopes his acquittal is challenged. "I can only hope that the evidence collected by the crime branch during a painstaking investigation is appreciated by High Court," he said.
To recall, the case got politically painted when two former BJP leaders Lal Singh and Ganga Singh joined a protest supporting the accused. But Jalla said he didn't work under any pressure. "There was no political pressure whatsoever on me or my team and we were doing our job with complete dedication and honesty," he said. Jalla's efforts were also appreciated by the prosecution.
"It is absolutely a wonderful team work where prosecution and investigators were always on the same page. It may be for the first time that the prosecution has not sought a single adjournment in the case," Jalla added.