Updated: August 29, 2021 9:24:58 am
The Delhi Police Crime Branch Saturday filed a chargesheet against four men, including a crematorium priest, in connection with the death of a minor Dalit girl in Southwest Delhi earlier this month.
The Crime Branch said they chargesheeted Radhe Shyam (55), Kuldeep Kumar (63), Laxmi Narain (48) and Mohd Salim (49) under several IPC sections including murder, gangrape, wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation and causing the disappearance of evidence along with POCSO Act and 3 SC/ST Act.
Chinmoy Biswal, the Delhi Police spokesperson, said the 400-page chargesheet was submitted to Patiala House Court.
“The case was transferred to the Crime Branch on August 5, following which a Special Investigation Team was constituted with ACP Sandeep Lamba and ACP Richhpal Singh. The SIT is under the supervision of Monika Bharadwaj, DCP (Crime),” said Biswal. Police said they collected scientific and technical evidence and recorded statements of witnesses.
“We took help from forensic science laboratory in Rohini and forensic experts on biology and odontology. We also interacted with psychologists during the interrogation of the accused. After gathering sufficient evidence on record, the chargesheet has been filed,” said Biswal.
The girl was found dead inside a crematorium on August 2. Her family said she had gone there to fetch water from a cooler, and her mother was later told by the priest and the other accused that the girl was electrocuted. The family claims the men forced the mother not to inform the police about the death and tried to conduct a hurried cremation. However, locals intervened and stopped it, though only charred remains were recovered from the pyre.
It is learnt that police also examined the water cooler and spoke to locals in detail.
Since the girl’s body was burnt, the forensic team was unable to conclusively ascertain rape or assault.
An investigating officer said, “We believe the accused concocted the story about the electrocution. Locals told us they did not get any shocks from the cooler the same day. The cooler was also examined by experts, who found that there was no such issue.”
Sources also claimed the four had “confessed”. Police did not share details of each man’s alleged role in the crime.
Biswal said police had committed to filing a chargesheet within 30 days after a high-level review meeting by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The matter will now go to a fast-track court.
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