Chilling details have emerged from the chargesheet prepared by the police in the gang-rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, near Jammu. The child was allegedly kidnapped, confined using sedatives, and gang-raped before being brutally murdered.
If you can read this without your blood starting to boil you need to take a long hard look at yourself. Kathua chargesheet: In J-K child gangrape, rituals, a chilling invite and a police cover-up – The Indian Express https://t.co/jTZpZexxru— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) April 11, 2018
Not satisfied with this, her perpetrators strangled her. Just to make sure she had died, they hit her head twice against a stone.
Before the final assault that killed the little girl, the men paused, not out of remorse, but because a policeman wanted to rape her "one last time".
The girl reportedly opened her eyes several times during the sexual assault but the impact of the sedatives didn't let her react. The ghastly details of the horror perpetrated on the girl were revealed to the police by two men and a juvenile, the main accused in the case.
The girl was reportedly killed on January 14, four days after being abducted and raped repeatedly.
The chargesheet says all this happened in a bid to punish the Bakarwal Muslim community and scare them away from Rasana village in Kathua.
Bakarwal (or Gujjar-Bakarwal) is a mostly-Sunni Muslim nomadic tribe based in the Pir Panjal and Himalayan mountains of South Asia. They are mainly goatherds and shepherds (Gadaria). Today, they are found in the entire Kashmir region between India and Pakistan, and in the Nuristan province of Afghanistan.
Once revered for the spartan lives they led, the Bakarwal have today been reduced to fighting for grazing rights in meadows that have turned tourist attractions.
The police was, however, prevented from filing the chargesheet in court because of a group of lawyers, who alleged police bias in the case. In a statement, the bar association has put forth other demands too, including the “deportation of illegally settled immigrants in and around Jammu”.
They have alleged that the coalition government has “deliberately created a hostile situation in an attempt to… disturb the harmonious atmosphere and character of Jammu region”.
The plot to teach the Bakarwals a lesson was reportedly hatched in December 2017 masterminded Sanjhi Ram, who is a former revenue official and local strongman. The crime was planned following a series of regular skirmishes between local Hindus and Bakarwals.
The other accused in the case include Ram's son Vishal Kumar, a college student, police officer Deepak Khajuria, Ram's 16-year-old nephew, and his friend Parvesh Kumar.
Police say Ram chose his son and nephew to carry out the crime because they were juveniles and could thus get away with lenient sentences should the crime come to fore.
The girl was reportedly chosen as the target because of her age, police said. They got an opportunity to strike on January 10, when the girl came near the house of the accused to graze her ponies. While the girl was looking for her ponies, the juvenile called out to Parvesh for help. Both of them misled the girl in her search for the ponies, sending her deep into the forest. When the girl lost her way, the two men got hold of her and forced her to consume local bhang.
The juvenile is reported to have raped the girl in the forest and along with Parvesh carried her to the temple, named Devsthan, of which Ram is the custodian.
The juvenile then informed his cousin Vishal, who was to appear for an exam in Meerut, and called him over to Kathua to rape the girl.
On January 11, the men allegedly gave the girl a high dosage of clonazepam, a drug used to control seizures and treat anxiety, because a lower-grade sedative failed to keep her sedated for a longer time. By then search operations to track the girl were in full swing.
The juvenile and Parvesh did not visit Devsthan on January 12. The next day, the juvenile and Vishal returned to the temple and raped the girl.
On January 14, the girl was once again raped by the juvenile and Khajuria. She was then taken to a culvert and strangulated with a shawl by Khajuria and the juvenile. Her head was reportedly hit against a stone. Her body was taken back to Devsthan and later dumped in the jungle.
DNA tests have proved the girl's presence in the temple. It has also proved the presence of the juvenile at the site.
According to police sources, the girl's post-mortem has indicated damage to private parts as well as injuries to her uterus due to the sexual assault.
Sources said that the police are likely to charge the accused with gang-rape and murder. If convicted, the men will be liable for death sentence.
The sinister ways in which barbarity was unleashed on the eight-year-old should remind anyone of the inhumanity that December 16 gang-rape victim Jyoti Pandey lost her life to. Only, the Kathua victim's perpetrators seem to have planned every detail of their assault with horrifying precision.
They made a ritual out of the child's rape. Why then does it not make our conscience bleed?