Srinagar: Investigations into the 8-year-old Kathua’s girl’s gangrape and murder have uncovered the “money trail” that was used to bribe policemen, a trail that goes back to the alleged “mastermind” of the crime, Sanji Ram, withdrawing Rs 10 lakh from his bank account.
In the months preceding the murder and rape of the minor girl, Sanji, a former government official and custodian of Kathua’s Devisthan temple where the girl was kept and raped, took out the money in a phased manner, a source told Kashmir Reader. A part of the money was used to bribe local policemen, who destroyed crucial evidence to save the accused. The involved policemen, Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta and Head Constable Tilak Raj, have also been arrested and named in the chargesheet by the police crime branch, along with Sanji, his son Vishal Jangotra, his juvenile nephew, Special Police Officer (SPO) Deepak Khajuria, and Parvesh Kumar.
After the outcry over the rape and murder of the little girl, Sanji tried to hush up the case by paying Rs 4 lakh of the Rs 5 lakh deal with Sub-Inspector at police station Hiranagar, Anand Dutta, who was investigating the case before it was handed to Crime Branch on January 22.
After receiving the kickback, the sub-inspector tried to destroy evidence and create “false evidence” to save the culprits.
Sanji also used his sister, Tripta Devi, mother of the accused juvenile, as a courier to pay Rs 1.5 lakh to Head Constable Tilak Raj, who was Tripta’s “close friend” because both were schoolmates.
The investigators found that Sanji, who retired from government’s revenue department at the fag end of last year, had stashed “a good amount of cash available with him well in advance”. The cash, however, was not found at his home as the investigators believe he might have stashed it somewhere else after he went into hiding. Sanji went into hiding after his name surfaced in the case. He surrendered before the crime branch on March 20, a day after his son Vishal Jangotra was arrested from Uttar Pradesh, where he was studying for a Bachelor’s in Agriculture. It is believed Sanji may have stashed the remaining cash somewhere else to dodge the investigators.
The money trail may be significant evidence to prove that the rape and murder was part of a sinister plot to “dislodge” the Bakarwal community from Rasana village.
“He had got gratuity and other retirement benefits and the money may be part of that. That is being investigated, and also where he disposed of the (remaining) money, which he took out from bank,” a source told Kashmir Reader.