Jammu: It was like looking for a needle in a haystack till an unusual sweat on Sanji Ram’s face on a chilly January morning hinted he was hiding something, recalls R K Jalla – the chief investigator in the rape and murder case of an 8-year old girl in Kathua.
Retired from service barely three months ago, Jalla was handed the case that was given to the crime branch on January 27, 2018.
“After having investigated the crime scene, we went to meet Sanji Ram (one of the main accused in the case). As I and my team started enquiring about his family members including his arrested juvenile nephew, I asked about his son Vishal.
“Sanji Ram immediately conveyed to me in a boastful voice that his son was studying in Meerut and I can go and check from his CDR (Call Data Record). I started wondering about two things — why is he insisting that I should go and check Vishal’s call records and second, why the hell is he sweating on a chilly morning of January,” the 60-year-old Jalla recalled.
The sessions court in Pathankot had on Monday sentenced Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Parwesh Kumar to life and the three dismissed policemen – Anand Dutta, Tikal Raj and Surinder Singh – to five years in jail.
Vishal, son of Sanji Ram, was acquitted by the court.
Jalla’s only regret in the case was Vishal’s release on benefit of doubt.
“I can only hope that an appeal is filed challenging the acquittal,” he said. Jalla said Sanji Ram made every attempt to save his son from this case.
“I can only hope that the evidence collected by the crime branch during a painstaking investigation is appreciated by High Court,” he said.