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The false patriots

The false patriots
Crime against women and minors is unfortunately not a new phenomenon but when such crimes take place in the name of religion, it has ominous dimensions. The abduction of an eight-year-old girl in the Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir on January 10 and subsequent drugging, gangrape, and murder of the minor girl has shaken the conscience of the people cutting across religious lines. Organisations which support such rape and brutality such as Hindu Ekta Manch need to be seen in the right perspective. These organisations should not have the right to protest police investigations into serious cases of crime. The victim, who belonged to the nomadic Muslim Bakarwal community, was abducted while grazing horses near her home. As per the charge sheet of the Jammu & Kashmir police, a retired revenue department official planned the entire crime. She was kept hostage in a temple and the caretaker of the temple is one of the key accused in the case. It has also come to light that a juvenile who raped the girl and murdered her had called up one of his cousins in Meerut and invited him to rape the girl. The said cousin did come all the way from Meerut and raped the girl before she was killed. The eight people who have been charge-sheeted for the crime included a special police officer of the state police. The charge sheet alleged that the caretaker of the temple Sanji Ram planned the abduction of the minor girl and gave a bribe of Rs four lakh to the police to hush up the case. His intention was to scare the Bakarwals so that they move out of their village Rassana in the Hiranagar tehsil of Kathua. He also incited his nephew to commit the crime. The Kathua rape case has been hogging media headlines ever since the crime came to light around January 10. It has divided people on communal lines and some organisations are making speeches and taking out marches in support of the rapists because they are Hindu. The father of the girl said the body bore burn marks, signs of torture, and genital mutilation. The incident reminds us of the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim. One of the key accused, special police officer (SPO) Deepak Khajuria is being hailed as a hero by the self-styled right-wing group called Hindu Ekta Manch. Leading columnists have spoken up against the Manch for the street agitation it has been organising to press for the release of Khajuria. The agitators brandish Indian national tricolour and chant "Bharat Mata Ki Jai". Now, what kind of patriotism is this? It is beyond comprehension how someone in his right senses can come forward in support of a gang of criminals who held an eight-year-old girl captive and gang-raped her. Their crime does not end there. They also sedated and brutalised her.
The eight people whom the state police have charge-sheeted in the case include Sanji Ram, his nephew, Sanji Ram's son Vishal Jangotra, a friend of the nephew, a police Sub Inspector, a head constable and two special police officers. A DNA test conducted on Sanji Ram's nephew revealed that he is 19-years-old and not a juvenile. Some policemen have been charge-sheeted in the case because they helped destroy the evidence in exchange for bribes. One of the policemen has also raped the girl. The charge sheet further reveals that the girl was held in the temple for at least four days till January 14 before she was strangled to death. The accused bludgeoned her with a stone and threw her body in the forest. Her body was finally discovered on January 17 from near the temple, Devasthan. The charge sheet says that the eight accused undoubtedly committed the crime including kidnapping, wrongful confinement, gang rape, murder and tampering of evidence. The police in their investigation involved forensic experts and together with first-class magistrate, they visited the crime scene and recovered a blood-stained wooden stick and some hair strands. These hair strands recovered from the temple and from where the body was dumped in the forest were sent for DNA profiling and one of the hair stands have matched with the girl's DNA profile.

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