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TIMELINE of Kathua rape and murder case

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Jan 10, 2018: 8-year-old girl goes missing in Kathua while out grazing cattle.
Jan 12: FIR registered on complaint of victim’s father.
Jan 17: Girl’s body found. Post mortem confirms gang-rape, murder.
Jan 22: Case handed over to J&K Crime Branch.
Feb 16: Right-wing group, Hindu Ekta Manch, holds protests in support of accused.
Mar 1: BJP Ministers Chander Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh attend rally organised by Hindu Ekta Manch.
Apr 9: Police files chargesheet before Kathua court against seven of the eight accused.
Apr 10: Chargesheet filed against the 8th accused who had claimed to be a juvenile. Police files FIR against lawyers for protesting and attempting to prevent the crime branch from filing charge sheet.
Apr 14: Lal Singh, Ganga resign from state cabinet.
Apr 16: Trial begins before P’pal Sessions Court Judge, Kathua. All accused plead ‘not guilty’.
May 7: SC shifts case from Kathua to Pathankot after victim’s father approaches the apex court citing threat to his family and counsel’s life. The apex court directs the trial to be fast-tracked and held in-camera, away from media.
June 3: Trial concludes after year-long proceedings with over 100 witnesses being examined.
June 6, 2019: Six of the seven accused convicted by special court in Pathankot. One accused, Vishal acquitted.

CONVICTS


Sanji Ram, 60
Ram is a retired revenue official. He was the main conspirator who incited his nephew, an alleged minor, to abduct the eight-year-old girl as revenge from the Bakarwals, nomadic tribe. He incited the boy by reminding him of an ‘insult’ meted out to him by the community. The nephew was allegedly the one who arranged to keep the eight-year-old locked up inside the temple where she was abducted and raped.

 


Parvesh Kumar, alias Mannu

Kumar is a friend of Ram’s nephew and played a critical role in the abduction and gang-rape by helping the alleged minor.


Deepak Khajuria
A special police officer who raped the eight-year-old ‘one more time before she was killed’.
Sub-inspector Anand Dutta and head constable Tilak Raj
The duo tried to destroy evidence and are also said to have washed the girl’s dress to help the accused avoid arrest.


Surinder Kumar
A special police officer, witnesses confirmed seeing Singh at the scene of the crime.

ACQUITTED

Vishal Jangotra

Jangotra is Sanji Ram’s son who was studying in Meerut at the time. He was accused of raping the girl along with Ram’s nephew. The nephew had allegedly called Jangotra to the temple in case he wanted to ‘satisfy his lust’.


TO BE DECIDED

Sanji Ram’s Nephew

The boy, who claims to be a minor, was allegedly incited to commit the abduction and rape as revenge on the Bakarwal community. Ram’s nephew is alleged to have raped, strangulated and smashed the girl’s face with a stone.


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Militant, Army officer killed in Anantnag gunfight

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Srinagar, Jun 17: An Army officer and a militant were killed and three other soldiers including a Major injured in a gunfight in south Kashmir Anantnag district on Monday, police said.

Police sources said the officer was shot at during the firing exchange between the holed-up militants and security forces in Bidoora village in Achabal area of the district.

The slain militant was believed to be a foreigner.

 

SSP Anantnag, Altaf Khan said that the operation was launched following specific inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.

He said that as the joint team intensified the searches, the militants, hiding in the area, opened fire which was retaliated, triggering off a gunfight.

Initially, sources said, the joint team of forces and militants exchanged gunfire for some time during which the house, in which the militants were hiding, was damaged. Later there was a lull for about an hour even as Army rushed more reinforcements and the joint team started searches to find out the militants.

Soon the militants rose from the debris and opened indiscriminate fire on the forces, resulting in the on-spot death of Major Keetan Sharma and injuries to three others including another Army Major Rahul Verma, sources said.

They added the joint team of forces retailed the fire, leading to the fresh gunfight in an open field. While one militant was killed and the search operation is underway to find if there is any more militant hiding in the area.

The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant is being ascertained, sources said.

Meanwhile, youth took to streets and pelted stones at the security forces. The police and paramilitary CRPF deployed in the area used tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse them.

In wake of the operation, the authorities snapped internet service in the southern district.

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IED blast in Pulwama, 6 soldiers, 2 civilians injured

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Srinagar, Jun 17: Militants on Monday attempted to blow off an Army vehicle in a village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

A police official said that an armoured vehicle of Army came under an IED attack in Hargam Arihal village of Pulwama. He added that after the blast militants also fired some gunshots towards the vehicle.

Local residents informed that they heard huge blast followed by gunshots.

 

Reports said that six soldiers and two civilians were injured in the blast. The soldiers were shifted to Army’s 92 base hospital at Badamibagh, Srinagar for treatment.

The area was soon cordoned off, officials said.

Earlier, reports said that militants exploded an IED under a Casper vehicle, extensively damaging it, as an army convoy passed through Arihal. However, the army clarified that the damaged vehicle was not a Casper, but an Ashok Leyland Stallion truck.

Three of them who were travelling in the cabin of the vehicle are stated to be serious, the news agency reported.

The blast was triggered by militants using a car laden with explosives, GNS reported attributing the same to “initial investigations by police.”

“A police officer that the explosives were fitted inside a car and investigators are probing the owner of the vehicle. Asked, which type of vehicle was used, the officer said that it is a matter of investigation,” the news agency reported.

“Samples have been collected and further probe is underway,” the officer was quoted saying.

In a statement, the Army called the attack a “failed attempt” by militants. The troops are safe, barring a few minor injuries, it said, adding, “The area has been cordoned and search operations are in progress”.

The blast comes days after Pakistan had reportedly shared information with India and America regarding the possibility of major militant attack in the south Kashmir district. (With inputs from GNS)

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Emotional scenes at slain SHO’s wreath-laying ceremony

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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SSP Srinagar, Dr Haseeb Mughal holding in his lap the son of slain SHO Arshid Khan during the wreath laying ceremony at DPL, Srinagar on Monday – Photo: Umar Ganie

Srinagar, Jun 17: Emotional scenes were Monday witnessed at District Police Lines (DPL) Srinagar as top cops and bureaucrats attended the wreath-laying ceremony of the slain police officer Arshad Khan, who had sustained critical injuries in a militant attack in Anantnag last week and later succumbed to his injuries at AIIMS, Delhi on Sunday.

J&K Police chief Dilbagh Singh, Advisors to Governor K Vijay Kumar and KK Sharma, Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra, Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmed Khan, ADGP Muneer Khan, and SSP Srinagar Dr Haseeb Mughal, among other civil and police officers were present on the occasion.

J&K Police shared two heart wrenching photos of Dr Mughal carrying the deceased’s son in his arms during the wreath-laying ceremony.

 

In the photos, a teary-eyed Haseeb is seen carrying slain Arshad Khan’s son while paying tributes to his colleague.

On the occasion, Advisor Kumar said that more than 1600 J&K Police personnel have lost their lives in the line of duty.

On June 12, around 4:50 pm, five paramilitary troopers and a militant were killed and four other security forces personnel including Arshad sustained injuries after militants attacked a joint party of CRPF and police at bus stand Anantnag.

Arshad was immediately evacuated to a nearby hospital and then to Srinagar’ SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura. After being treated there for a few days, he was flown to Delhi’s AIIMS hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.

According to police, Arshad was inducted into police services in the year 2002 and was presently posted as SHO Anantnag. Khan is survived by father and mother, wife Neelofar, 5-year-old son Abuhan Khan, Danim 2, and a brother.

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