Twenty-four-year-old Renu Sharma is desperate for one visit to the district jail in Kathua before she takes a call on her future. She wants to speak to her fiancé Deepak Khajuria, a local policeman who is accused of involvement in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Rasana village.
“I will look him in the eye and ask him if he really committed the crime. I know he will be truthful to me. If he denies it, I am willing to wait forever until he returns. If not, I will ask my parents to look for another match,” said Sharma, a postgraduate student. But Sharma has been denied the opportunity of visiting the jail so far. “It won’t be appropriate to let her visit the jail. I myself haven’t visited my son,” said Khajuria’s mother, Darshana Devi.
Sharma was engaged to 28-year-old Khajuria on December 7 last year. They were due to marry on April 26, but with Khajuria in jail, the wedding has been thrown into uncertainty. According to the crime branch charge sheet, Khajuria was the man who wanted to rape the girl, from a Muslim nomadic tribe, the Bakarwals, “one last time” before she was killed. He had then allegedly tried to strangle the girl by placing her neck on his knees, but failed to kill her.
Sharma said she doesn’t believe Khajuria was capable of raping and killing a child. Her opinion of Khajuria is based on a few telephone conversations with him for over a month since the two got engaged.