In the wake of the outrage caused by the gruesome rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua, Shridhar Patil has been appointed as the new Superintendent of Police of the district. He replaces Senior Superintendent of police Suleman Choudhary. Shridhar Patil was earlier posted as SP Kulgam. As per reports, Suleman Choudhary has been posted as AIG, CIV PHQ against an available vacancy. Reports, however, say that it is a routine transfer. But, the move comes after the alleged involvement of some district police officers in the horrific crime. The charge sheet accused the police officers of even accepting bribes to destroy crucial evidence.
During initial investigations, police arrested a juvenile. Later, the case was transferred to Jammu and Kashmir police’s crime branch with clear instructions from Director General of Police S P Vaid to catch the culprits, no matter how high and mighty. Two Special Police Officers (SPOs) — Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar — and later, another five persons, including former revenue official and the alleged conspirator, Sanji Ram, who surrendered before the special investigation team, were among those arrested.
The charge sheet noted that Ram masterminded the conspiracy to kidnap, and later rape and kill the girl. It has claimed that he made SPO Khajuria and the juvenile a “part of the conspiracy and assigned them tasks separately and individually”. The 18-page charge sheet said that one of the rapists came from Meerut to “satisfy his lust”. The motive behind this cruel act was to “dislodge” a group of Bakherwal Muslim nomads, the community which the victim belonged to, from Rasana village in Kathua near Jammu.
An eight-year-old girl was kidnapped on January 10 and held captive inside a temple in Rasana village of Kathua district. As per the charge sheet filed by the police in the case, the minor was drugged and raped repeatedly before being murdered. Her body was recovered on January 17 in the forest area. Protests around the country have taken place after the Kathua aftermath. To raise voice against the horrific rape, Congress President Rahul Gandhi also held a candlelight protest at India Gate. Many Bollywood celebrities have also joined hands against the horrific rape incidents in the recent times.