Key witness in Kathua rape-murder case turns hostile; tells court police tortured him to give statement against accused

    In a major setback to the Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch, a key witness in the Kathua rape-and-murder case has told the court that he had not sold sedatives to the main accused Deepak Khajuria, reports Greater Kashmir.

    According to the prosecution case the accused persons first drugged the eight-year-old girl, then raped her, and eventually murdered her. With the witness turning hostile, it is a tough task for the prosecution to present a water-tight case against the accused. The CB chargesheet said the chemist sold sedatives to one of the accused for sedating the victim. The hearing is underway in Pathankot district and sessions court.

    The report, quoting ‘reliable sources’, said: “The chemist told 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.”

    As per the chargesheet, 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. The chargesheet has statements of two hundred and twenty one witnesses.

    Defence lawyer AK Sawhney told reporters 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”.

    Meanwhile, the public prosecutor Santokh Singh Basra requested the court to declare the witness, chemist, as ‘partial hostile’ and sought the permission to cross-examine the witness.





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