2 arrested, no trace of victim since July 18: Police
Police on Thursday said that it has arrested two persons in connection with alleged rape of an orphan girl in Reasi before she went missing on July 18.
The family members, however, say that she may have jumped into the River Chenab as she had mentioned so to one of her relatives in a phone conversation on the same day.
Two of the alleged rape accused have landed in police custody of Reasi police following complaint by the victim’s relatives, while there is no trace of the girl who was heading for her residence from Jammu.
As the police is yet to trace the girl, the relatives and even police has assumed the victim was dead.
On July 18, the 19-year-old left her relative’s residence in Jammu for Reasi. On reaching Baradari Bridge (at Reasi), the relatives claimed, she de-boarded the passenger vehicle to board another vehicle to her residence.
In the meantime, they claimed, that the victim got a phone call of a local youth she was friends with.
“She met him and he (her friend) alongwith two other youth (Pankaj, Naresh and another youth) allegedly gang-raped her. The victim resisted and somehow managed to make final call to her maternal aunt,” said a relative of the victim.
“She (victim) was terrified when she talked to her maternal aunt about her rape. She was screaming on the phone. We could hear sound of motorbike, when she informed that she had been allegedly raped and she was going to end her life by jumping into Chenab River,” a female relative, quoting the mobile phone conversation, said.
“Suddenly, the call ended. When we made several calls, her mobile phone was switched off,” said claimed and added that from that day there is no trace of her.
“Her body is yet to be traced. We believe the accused persons might have killed her. If she is alive, they might have kept her somewhere,” said the relatives.
Speaking to Rising Kashmir, SHO Police Station Reasi, Inspector Ashwani Sharma said they have arrested both the accused persons namely Pankaj Khajuria and Naresh Sharma.
He said police was confused about the case as they are yet to trace the victim’s body.
“The girl was known to Pankaj with whom she went to his under construction house at Talwara. At this place, Pankaj allegedly raped her along with his friend Naresh Sharma,” said the SHO.
He said that “The girl wanted to marry Pankaj. She broke down when she was gang-raped by Pankaj and his friend Naresh. She left their house and ran towards Baradari Bridge over Chenab on July 18 and may have jumped into the river.”
When police came to know about the crime, he said, they conducted raids and picked up an employee of Narayana Hospital but he was not involved.
“We picked up Pankaj on July 26 for questioning and later Naresh was also arrested in gang-rape case. Pankaj’s mobile phone had voice call records where the accused person has confessed to have committed gang-rape,” he said.
In one such recordings, the SHO said, “Pankaj (main accused) made call to his friend Paramjeet informing him that she (victim) wanted to marry him and she might have jumped into the Chenab after her rape. Her body could not be traced.”
In another call recording, he said, the accused person Pankaj was allegedly telling his friend that he could be arrested by police any time but his friend told him “Don’t worry. Police could not arrest you because the girl’s body would have reached Pakistan, if she has jumped in Chenab.”
Investigation in the case is still on, he added.