The now infamous Kathua rape and murder case has been given a communal tone by viral posts on social media.
Of the many fake news posts doing the rounds on social media, there is one with the headline, ‘Why lawyers in Kathua are demanding a CBI Inquiry’. The contents of this post are outrightly false.This image, which has been shared over 7,600 times on Facebook, was posted by a page named ShankNaad, a repeat offender when it comes to spreading misinformation. The page has more than 1.3 million Facebook followers and 17.4 thousand Twitter followers.
The chargesheet filed by the J&K police in the case revealed that an 8-year-old girl was sedated, raped repeatedly, and then bludgeoned to death in January this year.
Of the seven points mentioned above, not one is true.
Allegation 1: ‘First post-mortem report mentions only murder and not the rape of the minor’
Fact: The post-mortem of the 8-year-old was conducted by a team of doctors in District Hospital Kathua on 17 January at 2:30 pm.
The medical experts said that the victim was found prima-facie raped before being killed, the chargesheet states. Furthermore, investigations in this regard have established that the victim was raped by more than one accused.
Allegation 2: It is impossible to hold someone captive and rape for 8 days in a temple which is always crowded and is situated in the middle of the street.
Fact:The child was held captive not for 8 days but for 6 days. She was sedated and taken in on 10 January and her body was dumped on 15 January in the Rasanna forests by two of the accused, including the juvenile.
The temple is located in the middle of nowhere, with no houses adjacent to it for kilometres.It is situated on a hilltop and is isolated from the Rasanna village. The walk, which leads to the village, is a lonely one. It opens up to a number of houses including the home of Sanji Ram. It is on this same path that the body of the victim was found on 17 January.
The chargesheet states that that the Devisthan was exclusively manned by the main accused, Sanji Ram, to exclude any other person in the area.
Allegation 3: The girl’s body had mud deposits which did not belong to the area which suggests that she was murdered somewhere else and her body was thrown in the temple premises.
The chargesheet reads: “The investigation has established, on the strength of evidence both oral as well as scientific, that the accused SI Dutta and Tilak Raj have in furtherance of Criminal Conspiracy hatched between themselves and the principal accused Sanji Ram washed the clothes worn by the deceased at the time of her death with the intention to remove the clay and blood stains/sperms etc and thereafter forwarded the same to FSL (forensic science laboratory) for expert opinion.”The police also adds in the chargesheet that on the basis of expert opinion, one of the hair strands found in the Devistan matched with the DNA profile of the victim. Thereby confirming that the victim was held captive there.
Allegation 4: When villagers raised concern over Rohingyas being settled in the area, Mufti govt got rattled
The government has allowed Rohingyas with necessary documentation the right to settle in Jammu, and the locals have had a problem since this matter began three years ago.
Allegation 5: Mufti sends officer Irfan Wani to create a new case, who was previously accused of raping a girl and murdering her brother in police custody
Mufti didn’t choose the members of the crime branch who were asked to do this task. The SSP Crime Branch, Ramesh Kumar Jalla, who is a Kashmiri Pandit, chose the members of his team.
Jalla said, “I wasn’t even aware of these allegations against inspector Irfan Wani. I got to know after it was brought up in the media. The man was booked under a case of raping a girl and killing a young boy, but he was acquitted in both cases around 2014. If the man is acquitted by the judiciary of the country there is no sense to not include him as part of my team. I had an excellent team that did a good job of delivering a chargesheet.”
Allegation 6: After Irfan Wani got involved, new report was created and ‘rape’ was inserted without any forensic evidence and locals were tortured in the name of investigation.
As mentioned under the first allegation, rape was never ‘added’ to the existing charges, it was always part of the investigation.
Allegation 7: To protect the real culprits, innocents were framed including the officials from Jammu Police.
Now, who the real culprits are can only be deliberated upon once the court debates the chargesheet and then decides the relevant charges.