Braving all odds and pressures, three officers, Ahfad-ul-Mujtaba, Ramesh Kumar Jalla and Naveed Peerzada, worked hard to piece together evidence against the accused in the horrific rape and murder of Kathua minor girl, which resulted in their conviction on Monday.
When six of the seven accused were convicted by the District and Sessions Court Pathankot this morning, social media was flooded with praises for the officers of the Crime Branch, who investigated the case.
“Relieved about Kathua verdict. Credit goes to Crime Branch team led by IG Mujtaba, SSP Jalla, additional SP Naveed and DSP Shetambari, Deepika S Rajawat and Talib for ensuring facts come to light despite hindrances,” former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.
58-year-old Ahfad-ul-Mujtaba took over as head of the CB when it was investigating the case.
“I am satisfied with conviction of the accused but not with their quantum of the sentence,” Mujataba told Greater Kashmir. Considered as expert in cracking blind cases, Mujataba and his team worked hard to collect evidences against the accused.
“The only problem was collection of evidences as they were destroyed by the accused. But we succeeded in building watertight case against the accused,” he said.
During his career, Mujtaba has served at key positions including the SSP Srinagar and the DIG central Kashmir
RAMESH KUMAR JALLA
60-year-old Ramesh Kumar Jalla was supervising the Crime Branch team that probed the case.
“When I visited the cowshed of Sanjhi Ram, I supposed that the crime wouldn’t have been committed inside it because it was located in a populated area. Had they kept her (the victim) confined in the cowshed, it would have been noticed,” he said.
Initially, the district police Kathua had claimed that the victim girl was kept captive in the cowshed.
However, the probe carried out by the CB revealed that the girl was kept captive in Devishtan before being murdered by the accused.
During investigation, Jalla, who attained superannuation in April this year, would often sit with his team and discuss how to connect the missing links of the case.
“It was not a difficult case. The only problem was collection of evidence,” he says.
Jalla comes from a family of policemen. His father, late D N Jalla, also a police officer, died in a road accident near Sangam while escorting cavalcade of Arun Nehru, former Union minister.
In the past three decades, Jalla has served in almost all the parts of Valley—old city Srinagar, Baramulla, Budgam, Anantnag.
It was a painstaking probe by young police officer Naveed Peerzada that brought out startling facts that had escaped the investigation carried out by Kathua police.
Peerzada was head of the Special Investigation Team, which probed the case.
From conducting raids to arresting of the accused to collecting of the evidences, Naveed was leading the Crime Branch team in Rasana and adjoining villages of Hira Nagar Kathua, during the two-month long investigation.
Naveed, who is presently on deputation with United Nations, is a 2004-batch KPS officer.