A Jammu & Kashmir policeman has accused his senior of not depositing clothes of the eight-year-old victim in the Kathua rape and murder case to the malkhana, or warehouse, of the police station so as to tamper with the evidence.
Head constable Surinder Pal, during his examination in the trial court on Monday, further alleged that sub inspector Anand Dutta also intimidated him to record backdated entries when he submitted “concocted” evidence the following day.
Dutta is a co-accused in the case over abduction, rape and murder of the nomad Bakarwal girl in Rasana village in January.
Pal has deposed that Dutta had come to the Hiranagar police station on January 18 with three pieces of evidence — a hair band, dupatta (long scarf), and shoes of the deceased.
As per procedure, every case property after being sealed by the investigative agency is to be deposited in the malkhana of the concerned police station. But Dutta did not deposit the evidence he had brought. On January 19, Dutta again came to the station with three pieces — ash, astone and a lock & key, Pal said.
Jammu & Kashmir Crime Branch, which is investigating the case, has alleged that Dutta had concocted these three pieces of evidence to confuse the investigation and disprove the theory that the girl was kept in a ‘devasthan’ (temple).
Dutta had claimed to his seniors that the girl was instead kept in a cow shed close to the devasthan. Besides these, Dutta also made four packets of evidence labelled ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’. Packet A contained blood stained clay recovered from the place where the girl’s dead body was found.
Packet B contained clay sample, and packet C contained swabs recovered from the body. Packet D was supposed to contain the clothes of the deceased, containing blood stains and smeared with clay.
Pal has alleged that Dutta directed him to make backdated entries in record to show that all the pieces of evidence, including the four packets, were deposited in the malkhana on January 17 and 18.
However, Dutta never deposited the clothes in packet D, the investigative agency claimed. Instead, he washed the dress the eight-year-old victim was wearing at the time of her death to clean the blood stains and clay with the help of a head constable Tilak Raj, who is also a co-accused in the case now, agency insiders have alleged.
The dress sent for examination to the forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), along with samples of clay recovered from the ground where the body was recovered, was totally clean. Crime Branch officials were shocked when FSL experts informed them that the two did not match.
Hair used up for lab test
Pathankot: The row over the “disappearance of evidence” in trial has been clarified by the prosecution. On Monday, the prosecution opened a sealed box containing evidence and hair strands of the deceased. However, the packets were found empty. The agency officials then contacted the director of the Forensic Science Laboratory who conveyed that as per procedure, the hair samples were “consumed” for examination.