A local court on Tuesday ordered Jammu superintendent of police (SSP) Tejinder Singh to register an FIR against six members of the special investigation team (SIT) of the state crime branch that probed the 2018 rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Rasana area of Kathua district for allegedly torturing and coercing witnesses to give false statements.
Judicial magistrate Prem Sagar issued an order that read, “From the gist of the complaint, cognizable offences are made out against the non-applicants (six crime branch officials) herein. Therefore, application under Section 156 (3) CrPc is allowed with direction to SSP Jammu to register FIR against non applicants under relevant provisions of law and report compliance by November 7, the next date of hearing ”.
The court directed registration of FIR against the then SSP RK Jalla (now retired), ASP Peerzada Naveed, deputy superintendents of police Shetmbari Sharma and Nissar Hussain, sub-inspector Urfan Wani and Kewal Kishore of crime branch of police and asked the SSP Jammu to report compliance by next date of hearing.
Advocate Ankur Sharma had filed the application on behalf of Sachin Sharma of Kathua, Neeraj Sharma of Marheen and Sahil Sharma of Rajpura Samba. All three were witness in the case.
“The FIR has been ordered by the city judge against six SIT members, including the then SSP Crime Branch RK Jalla, for custodial torture, illegal confinement, criminal intimidation and creation of false evidence against my clients , who were made witnesses in the case, ”advocate Sharma said.
The prime accused in the case Vishal Jangotra was acquitted by the trial court of Pathankot on June 10 this year.
In June this year, district and sessions judge Tejwinder Singh sentenced to life imprisonment the three main accused, while awarding five years in jail to three others for destruction of evidence in the case that had sparked nationwide outrage.
The trial was shifted to Pathankot on orders of the Supreme Court after some cabinet ministers of the then PDP-BJP government in the state came out in open support of the accused while lawyers in Kathua attempted to prevent submission of the charge sheet in court.
First Published: Oct 23, 2019 09: 40 IST