The court has directed J&K Police to file a case against six policemen, who were part of the SIT probing Kathua rape-murder case.
In what could be very embarrassing for Jammu & Kashmir Police (JKP), a Jammu court has ordered an FIR to be registered against the six-member SIT which was probing Kathua rape-murder case, in which an eight-year-old Gujjar Bakarwal girl was raped and murdered.
The case had hit national headlines, causing a massive uproar in the country, which led to an in-camera trial in Pathankot, outside the state of J&K.
In the order dated October 22 from the court of the judicial magistrate (CJM), the judge has allowed for a case to be filed against six policemen who have been identified as RK Jalla (Former SSP Crime Branch, Jammu), Peerzada Naveed (Additional Superintendent of Police Crime Branch, Jammu), Shwetambari Sharma (Deputy SP Crime Branch, Jammu), Nassir Hussain (Deputy SP Crime Branch Jammu) Urfan Wani (sub-inspector crime branch Jammu) and Kewal Kishore (crime branch).
The court order reads, “the applicants were coerced/tortured/forced by applicants (SIT) to give false evidence against accused Vishal Jangotra” seeking the registration of FIR.
In the two-page order, the court has directed SSP Jammu to file an FIR and report compliance by the next date of a hearing scheduled on November 7.
However, sources in J&K Police said that they were shocked at the order, and would try to reverse it by filing an appeal, and if need be, approach the high court.
The court order accessed by India Today TV mentions that the applicants in the case had filed a complaint before the SHO of Pacca Danga police station in Jammu on September 24 2019 seeking registration of FIR under section 194 of the IPC (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence) and other relevant provisions of the law against the members of the SIT.
The applicants argued that the grounds of registration of FIR were how Sachin Sharma and Neeraj Sharma from Kathua district and Sahil Sharma from adjacent Samba district were forced/tortured/coerced’ by all the members of the SIT to depose and create false evidence against accused Vishal Jangotra’.
While Vishal Jangotra, the son of chief conspirator Sanji Ram, was acquitted rest of all conspirators were found guilty. The case had a massive fallout with politics over it peaking with communally sensitive reactions coming in from Jammu and Kashmir.
Jangotra was acquitted of all charges due to CCTV footage that gave him an alibi.
However, sources said JKP has challenged the court acquittal of Jangotra. A similar plea against Jangotra is also filed by the deceased girl’s parent.
A senior officer, defending the SIT said: “During the trial, Pathankot court had sought information from Jammu court asking whether, all witnesses who had given a statement under section 164, before it, were not under duress.”
Sources said that Jammu court had given clean chit to JKP then. While the same set of witnesses led to the conviction of six of the seven defendants, only Jangotra was acquitted. “How can those witness statements based on which convictions were made be called coerced.”
Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Pravesh Kumar were sentenced to life imprisonment for 25 years, along with a fine of Rs 1 lakh. The other three accused – Tilak Raj, Anand Dutta and Surender Verma were sentenced to five years in jail for destroying crucial evidence in the case.
The court acquitted Sanji Ram’s son, Vishal due to lack of evidence. The eighth accused, Ram’s juvenile nephew, was tried at a juvenile court. While JKP sources say there is an appeal against Jangotra, JKP is determined to prove that the “nephew” is not juvenile.
Source: India Today