Kathua/Jammu, Apr 24: A Kathua court today dismissed the bail plea of an alleged juvenile offender, detained in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl here. The bail application of the underage accused was turned down by Kathua Chief Judicial Magistrate A S Langeh, the local lawyers said.
The counsel for the underage accused had moved the court for his bail soon after the Crime Branch had filed its charge sheet against him and seven other adults allegedly involved in the January rape and murder case. The alleged juvenile offender had sought the bail on the ground of his age. According to the Crime Branch charge sheet, the juvenile accused had played a key role in the abduction, rape and gruesome murder of the girl.
The other accused arrested in the case include local resident Sanji Ram, his son Vishal Sharma and two special police officers. A police sub-inspector and a head constable too have been apprehended on charges of destroying crucial evidence in the case to save the culprits after taking bribe.
The body of the girl was recovered from a forest on January 17, a week after she had gone missing while grazing horses in the forest area. The Jammu and Kashmir government had handed over the case to the Crime Branch, which had formed a special investigation team to probe the rape-cum-murder.
The crime branch subsequently filed two separate charge sheets in the case - one against the seven adult accused on April 9 and the second against the juvenile accused on April 10. Though the Crime Branch has filed a separate charge-sheet against the juvenile accused, it had claimed in its earlier charge-sheet for adult accused that a medical examination had found to be an adult of around 19 years of age. The court, however, had earlier rejected the claim.
According to the charge sheet, the underage accused, a school dropout, had lured the girl to a desolate place on the false pretext of helping her in finding her missing horses, held her captive at 'devisthan' where she was drugged and allegedly raped by him, Vishal and SPO on different occasions before being brutally killed.