The report is to bring out the true facts about the alleged rape and murder of an eight year old girl belonging to the Bakerwal community in District Kathua, State of Jammu and Kashmir, India. The incident happened between January 10 and January 17,2018 and came into limelight in March-April 2018. As the media picked up this incident were rapidly acquiring a communal color. We observed a flagrant violation law in the reporting of this incident in the media. We were able to discern a deliberate rate attempt in the social media to push the country towards communal riots and unimaginable bloodshed over this issue.
Weprovideasummaryofourfindingsbelow.Weelaborateontheseconclusionsin the main text of the report.
Key findings of our Fact-finding team are as follows:
- The demand for a CBI Inquiry into the Kathua incident is rising across all sections of Jammu due to certain glaring inconsistencies in the case. These are summarized in the table below:
|The timeline of investigations||1. Three investigating teams rapidly changed one after the other within a span of 10 days from 12 January 2018 to 23 January 2018:
· 12 January 2018 to 18 January 2018-Investigation done by SHO, Hiranagar.
· 19 January 2018 to 20 January 2018- ASP Samba Adil Hamid Raza.
· 23 January 2018 onwards – Crime branch Jammu.
|The composition of the Crime Branch team||Supervised by : R K Jalla, Crime Branch, Jammu
1. Naveed Peerzada, ASP Crime ,Kashmir (Team Head) (Kashmiri)
2. Nisar Hussain ,DySP,Crime Branch Jammu (allegations against him-destruction of evidence)
3. Shwetambari Sharma ,Dy SP Crime Branch Jammu , IO
4. Urfan Wani,SI Crime Branch Jammu.(Kashmiri, charge sheeted for custodial death of a Hindu boy and rape of his minor sister.)
5. Tariq Ahmed, ASI, Crime Branch, Kashmir (Kashmiri)
[The Crime branch team consists of two ethnic Kashmiris apart from the SSP, Crime Branch, Jammu who is also a Kashmiri. In a sensitive case like this one, and in a state like J and K this matters]
[The Crime Branch team consists of two persons Urfan Wani, SI and Nissar Hussian, DySP who have been charged with serious crimes. Given the severely compromised process of justice in the State of J and K the plea that they have been acquitted cuts no ice with Jammu.]
|The charge sheet
(Annexure – 1)
|1. Post mortem report (Annexure – 2)
The Charge sheet mentions gang-rape by at least 3 persons over many days. This is not corroborated by the injuries described in the post-mortem report. (The team made a comparison with another post mortem report in a separate case of an 8 year old girl who had been raped and murdered. Injuries reported on her private parts were severe with intense bleeding.) No such injuries are reported on the victim in the Kathua incident which according to the charge sheet is a gang rape. Post mortem report only mentions abrasions but no injuries.
2. Not Mandir or Devisthan but Devsthan
The chargesheet mentions the site of the crime as a ‘Devisthan’ which is actually a ‘Devsthan’ housing the Kul devtas of the villages in and around Rasana. The said structure is a sparsely furnished room of approximately 20X35 feet. It is said to have been visited by a large number of people on the 13,14 and 15th of January 2018 for Lohri, Makar Sankranti followed by Yagya and Bhandara on 15 January 2018.
[a. Is it possible to hide a girl with a height of 4 feet under a table measuring 31/2 feet.
b. Is it possible to hide a girl in this room with three doors and 3 windows with only grills and no panes
c. Was the site a secluded place where a girl could be sedated and hidden ?]
3. Presence of Vishal Jangotra
Charge sheet mentions the presence of Vishal Jangotra in Rasana on the days of the crime. However various reports suggest that he was in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, giving exams on the days of the crime. This is still under investigation but is a part of the charge sheet.
4. Motive of the crime
To scare the Bakerwals
[No clear motive emerges in the charge sheet. If the intention was to scare the Bakerwals why did the accused resort to kidnapping the child? It is evident that the child would have clearly recognized the kidnappers as they were known to her. If the intention was to kidnap and murder the child it is not established in the charge sheet.]
5. Place where body was dumped
Body was recovered from a site near the house of Sanjhi Ram.
[The place where her body was recovered raises questions. Why would an alleged murderer dump the body barely 100 meters from his own house? There are a number of sites in the small village that could have been used to dump the body. There is a small nallah that was the logical site for dumping a dead body.]
6. The charge sheet says that the victim was starved and sedated. The post mortem report says the intestines have digested food material.
[If she had digested food material in her intestine Where did the victim excrete and pass urine? No such evidences have been found in the Devsthan.]
7. A strand of hair that matches with that of the victim was found by the Crime branch team after many days of the incident. The crime happened in January 2018.
[This raises questions: Why only one strand of hair? Why no hair on duree under which the girl was alleged to have been kept?]
|Post Mortem report||Post mortem examination report conducted by the Government District Hospital Kathua, dated 17/1/2018 Serial number 27 states that :
Intestines- filled with digested material
Another copy of the same report has many changes and also states:
This second copy has been signed on 19 March 2018.
[The most glaring inconsistencies are seen in the Post-mortem report. In the copies of charge sheet provided by Crime Branch to the Defense Counsel two reports have been found. Both are different with the report with signatures dated 19 March 2018 having substantial alterations.]
|Human rights violations of the entire Village Rasana and adjoining areas.||1. The villagers had to leave Rasana due to harassment by the Crime Branch.(Migration of Hindu community due to harassment by Crime Branch)
2. Three friends of Vishal Jangotra, Neeraj Sharma,Sachin Sharma and Sahil Sharma have given statements under 164A saying that they were tortured to confess against Vishal Jangotra.( Annexure- 3)
[The parents of accused Parvesh alias Mannu repeatedly stated that he was administered electric shocks by making him urinate of a heater.]
|Attempts to deny free and fair trial to the accused||The charge-sheet was filed on 9 April 2018 in the Kathua Court and the lawyers representing the accused were given incomplete and inconsistent copies of the charge sheet on 18 April 2018 which is in violation of the Criminal procedure code and principles of natural justice. This in itself is reason enough for doubting the current process of Justice in this case.
|Release of Challan to the Media||In Jammu and Kashmir all challans are filed in Urdu (as it is the official language of the state). However in this case the challan was typed in English and released to the media along with the photos and name of the child victim before being provided to the accused.|
|Uninvestigated angles||Villagers reported that in the night of 16 January 2018, the transformer in the Village Rasana faulted with loud bang and the village was plunged in darkness. One person Bishen Singh heard a bullet bike and after 1 /2 hour saw the bike returning. Two men huddled in blankets were seen by him. Even after repeatedly recording this statement with the Crime branch it has not been investigated.|
- Kathua Incident: Fact Sheet