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Kathua rape and murder case: Accused was not in Meerut, handwriting tests claim

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Jammu, Aug 05:  The Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police have carried out scientific tests to support its probe that Vishal Jangotra, an accused in the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua, was not in Meerut when the crime took place in January.

The charges of rape and murder of the girl were framed by the district and sessions court in Pathankot against Vishal, who is pursuing a bachelors degree in agriculture from a college in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district, and his juvenile cousin, his father Sanji Ram, and special police officer (SPO) Deepak Khajuria alias Deepu.

It is alleged in the charge-sheet that Vishal, accused of raping the girl, had tried to create an alibi of his absence from the crime scene by allegedly “resorting to manipulation of records and creation of false evidence with the connivance and assistance of his father”.

According to the charge-sheet filed by the Crime Branch, the answer-sheets as well as attendance sheet of Vishal, son of alleged main accused Sanji Ram, were sent to handwriting experts, also known as Questioners of Examined Documents (QED).

“The opinion given by the expert has inter alia revealed that the first name (Vishal) could not be connected with his usual signatures on the attendance sheets dated January 12 and 15,” it said.

The girl was kidnapped on January 10 and subsequently killed on January 13 night. Her body was dumped by Vishal, his juvenile cousin and Khajuria on January 14 after which he took a train for Meerut. The body of the victim was recovered on January 17.

The handwriting experts also opined that the surname of accused (Jangotra) “could have been anachronistically added on the attendance sheets of January 12 and 15.”

The Crime Branch also seized answer-sheets written by the accused in examination centre on January 09 to compare it with the answer-sheets of January 12 and 15, which as per investigation were written by him after examination and commission of the crime.

“Inter-spacing between the letters and words in the questioned writings… have been written with wide hiatus between letters and words (comparing the writing of January 09 and January 12 and 15).

“This aspect revels that extend of natural variation in the questioned writings is more personified and profound (answer-sheets of January 12 and 15).

“Such personified and profound natural variation can occur in the writing of a person when there is a lack of neuro-muscular coordination of the writer and such lack of neuro-muscular coordination is found due to various psychological and physical conditions,” the report said.

The Crime Branch has been contending that Vishal was under tremendous mental pressure after he arrived at Meerut in the afternoon of January 15.

The charge-sheet said that forensic report clearly indicates tampering of the attendance sheets and points to the fact that access to the attendance sheets has been given to the accused… “it stands established that the accused was not present in the examination dated January 12 and 15 and had resorted to manipulation of the attendance sheets and tried to create and alibi in order to save himself from the clutches of law.”

The trial in this case is going on at district and sessions court at Pathankot on the directions of the Supreme Court.

Besides Vishal, his father Sanji Ram, his juvenile cousin and Khajuria, the Crime Branch has charge-sheeted four others.

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