Chemist, a key witness in Kathua case, turns hostile

Chemist, a key witness in Kathua case, turns hostile

Says never sold sedatives to accused

A key witness in the Rasana rape-and-murder case has turned hostile in a big setback to the efforts of the prosecution to present a strong case in the court against the people who first drugged the eight-year-old girl, then raped her, and eventually  murdered her.

The witness, a chemist in the area, according to the charge sheet of the Crime Branch (CB), sold sedatives to one of the accused for sedating the victim, today turned hostile in the Pathankot district and sessions court, where a hearing was underway in-camera, sources informed.

 “The chemist said in the court that he never sold that particular drug to one of the accused, Deepak Khajuria, and he also doesn’t sell that particular drug in his shop,” reliable sources informed.

As per the charge sheet, the accused Deepak Khajuria bought a particular drug from the chemist, whose shop is near the Rasana village. Deepak Khajuria then gave that drug to another accused, Shubham, who in turn used that drug for sedating the victim.

“The chemist, in the court, took a u-turn and denied having sold that drug ever to the accused Deepak Khajuria and any other person as he doesn’t keep that drug in his shop for selling,” sources said.

There are a total of two hundred and twenty one (221) witnesses in the case. The cross-examination of the sixth (6th) witness was completed today in the court.    

While talking to reporters outside the court after hearing for the day ended, defence lawyer AK Sawhney confirmed that the “witness chemist turned hostile in the court saying that he never sold that drug to the accused Deepak Khajuria and nor to anybody”. 

“I have never sold this particular drug to the accused Deepak Khajuria. I do not keep this particular drug in my shop for selling,” Sawhney said while adding, “The witness chemist said in the court that he was tortured by the CB to manage that particular drug”.     

As the chemist retracted from his statement given to the CB, the sources said, “The Public Prosecutor (PP), Santokh Singh Basra, sought permission from the court to declare the witness, chemist, as ‘partial hostile’ and he (PP) be allowed to cross-examine the witness”.

“The judge granted permission after which the PP cross-examined the chemist,” sources said.