A retired revenue official who is suspected to be the main conspirator behind the abduction, rape and murder of an eight-year-old Bakerwal girl in Jammu’s Kathua district surrendered before the state Crime Branch on Tuesday. Sources said the Crime Branch recently issued a notice seeking the appearance of the retired Patwari, identified as Sanji Ram, before a special investigation team (SIT) inquiring into the matter.
His son Vishal, a B.Sc student, was arrested from Meerut three days ago. His involvement in the crime came up during interrogation of those arrested, sources said. With the nabbing of Vishal and Sanji Ram, the number of arrests in the matter has risen to eight. The Crime Branch had earlier arrested a police sub-inspector, a head constable, two special police officers and two villagers including Shubam Sangra, a nephew of Sanji Ram.
Crime Branch officials believe that Sanji Ram was the main conspirator behind the crime. He allegedly conspired with his nephew Shubham Sangra and SPO Deepak Khajuria to abduct and kill the girl to make Bakerwals leave the area.
The girl was kidnapped from the forests near her house on January 10 and her body was recovered by police a week later. The police sub-inspector and head constable were arrested for allegedly trying to destroy evidence.