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Six Guilty, One Acquitted in Kathua Case: Who Are They?

Details of the seven men tried in the Pathankot special court for the rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl.

Updated
India
3 min read

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

Video Producers: Debayan Dutta, Fabeha Syed

The special court at Pathankot announced its verdict in the Kathua rape and murder case on Monday, 10 June. Judge Tejwinder Singh found six of the seven accused on trial guilty of the offences against them, and acquitted one of the seven, Vishal Jangotra.

Chief conspirator Sanji Ram’s nephew, a juvenile, was also accused in the case, and played a key role in the kidnapping, gang rape, and murder of the victim, a minor Bakarwal girl. He was not tried in this court because of his age.

Here are the details of the seven men on trial in the case, and what they were accused of.

Note: The Indian Penal Code is not applicable in Jammu and Kashmir, but the Ranbir Penal Code followed there is very similar to the IPC. The accused were charged with Sections 120-B (conspiracy), 363 (kidnapping), 343 (wrongful confinement), 376D (gang rape), 302 (murder) and 201 (tampering with evidence) of the RPC.

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Sanji Ram

Chief conspirator, former revenue officer and caretaker of the ‘Devisthan’ where the girl was confined and raped.

Involvement: Architect of the conspiracy to drive out Bakarwals. Gave instructions to all the accused to carry out the offences. Arranged for payments to police officers to cover up the case.

Verdict: CONVICTED under Sections 120-B (conspiracy), 302 (murder) and 376D (gang rape) of RPC

Sentence: Life imprisonment for Section 120-B and Section 302 and 25 years imprisonment for Section 376D

Vishal Jangotra alias Shamma

Sanji Ram’s son, BSc Agriculture student at Akansha College Mirapur, UP.

Involvement: Alleged to have raped the minor and been present at the scene of her murder as well.

Verdict: ACQUITTED

SPO Deepak Khajuria

Special police officer, PS Hiranagar, alleged co-conspirator of Sanji Ram from the beginning.

Involvement: Involved in the planning of the conspiracy along with Sanji Ram, as well as the plan to cover up the case. Induced the juvenile to commit the kidnapping of the girl, in exchange for assistance in passing exams. Administered sedatives to the victim and was one of those who gang-raped her. Attempted to strangle the victim, but failed to kill her.

Verdict: CONVICTED under Sections 120-B (conspiracy), 302 (murder) and 376D (gang rape) of RPC

Sentence: Life imprisonment for Section 120-B and Section 302 and 25 years imprisonment for Section 376D

SPO Surinder Kumar

Special police officer, PS Hiranagar.

Involvement: Involved in the conspiracy by Khajuria, he provided Khajuria with information about the movement of Bakarwals near the Devisthan and the condition of the victim, and was involved in the cover up.

Verdict: CONVICTED of offences under Section 201 (evidence tampering) of RPC

Sentence: Five years imprisonment for Section 201

Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu

Juvenile’s friend, informed by juvenile of conspiracy in advance of kidnapping.

Involvement: Along with the juvenile, kidnapped the victim and took her to the Devisthan where they kept her hidden and confined, as per Sanji Ram’s instructions. He tried to rape the victim but was unable to do so. He was present at the scene for her murder by the juvenile.

Verdict: CONVICTED of offences under Sections 302 (murder) and 376D (gang rape) of RPC

Sentence: Life imprisonment for Section 302 and 25 years imprisonment for Section 376D

Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta

Headed initial investigation into the victim’s death, alleged to have been aware of conspiracy and accepted bribes to cover up the crime.

Involvement: Agreed to cover up the crime and divert searches for the victim, in return for a sum of Rs 5 lakh from Sanji Ram. Dutta and Tilak Raj washed the victim’s clothes with the intention to remove clay/blood/sperm from them. Other crucial pieces of evidence were either not seized or concealed/destroyed.

Verdict: CONVICTED of offences under Section 201 (evidence tampering) of RPC

Sentence: Five years imprisonment for Section 201

Head Constable Tilak Raj

Part of investigating team and search party for victim, the go-between for transfer of bribes between Sanji Ram and SI Dutta to cover up the crime.

Involvement: Conduit for payment of Rs 4 lakh from Sanji Ram to Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta. Helped wash the victim’s clothes to remove clay/blood/sperm and helped conceal/destroy other evidence.

Verdict: CONVICTED of offences under Section 201 (evidence tampering) of RPC

Sentence: Five years imprisonment for Section 201

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