The services of all the four policemen, including a sub inspector, who are facing trial in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Bakerwal girl in Kathua district’s Rasana village have been terminated by the Jammu and Kashmir government. They include sub inspector Anand Dutta, head constable Tilak Raj and Special Police Officers (SPOs) Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar. The information was confirmed by Inspector General of Police for Jammu zone S D Singh Jamwal.
The SPOs were terminated way back, while the SI and the head constable were initially placed under suspension. Their services were terminated on Thursday, another police official said. The four are among the eight accused arrested by the police and are facing trial in the rape and murder case. The other four include a retired revenue official Sanji Ram, his son Vishal Jangotra, his nephew Shubam Khajuria and a Rasana resident Parvesh Kumar.
According to the challan presented against them, SPO Deepak Khajuria was involved in rape and murder of the girl, while the other three policemen had tried to destroy evidence in the case. The eight-year-old girl had disappeared from near her house in the forests of Rasana on January 10 and her body was recovered by police after a week.
The gruesome incident had led to a nationwide outrage. The then PDP-BJP government, led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, had shifted inquiry into the matter to the crime branch, which later arrested eight people.
The kin and relatives of the accused, accompanied by local villagers and Hindu Ekta Manch members, headed by a BJP leader, demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter. Two BJP ministers, Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, publicly rallied behind their demand but were made to resign from the Cabinet.
Since then, Lal Singh has been holding rallies across the Jammu region to mobilise public opinion in support of the demand for CBI inquiry into the rape and murder of the Bakerwal girl. However, the family members and relatives of the deceased have expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the crime branch probe.
The Supreme Court has shifted trial of the case to Pathankot. The accused too have been shifted to a jail in Punjab following directions by Supreme Court.