Reacting to the remarks made by Jammu-based lawyer Ankur Sharma who questioned her intelligence because she was a woman, DSP Shwetambari Sharma said the judiciary is doubted just because you’re a woman.

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Speaking to media , Ankur Sharma said that since she is a 'woman and a new officer, she was misguided by someone' and claimed that the investigation was botched up as witnesses were tortured to extract favourable statements.

“Around 40 to 50 people have said that they have been tortured by the crime branch to give favourable statements,” claimed the lawyer.

She was quoted saying by ANI: “It hurts when you're targeted & your intelligence is doubted just because you're a woman. I was disturbed initially but it's okay. Our judiciary is capable enough to bring justice, don't doubt it.”

Shwetambri Sharma is the lone woman officer in the Special Investigative Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police that investigated the rape and murder of the eight-year-old.

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Earlier, speaking to media , Deputy Superintendent Shwetambri Sharma had said that the accused also tried to influence her.

“As most of the accused were Brahmins, they over-emphasised their surnames. They particularly tried to influence me and communicated through different means that we belonged to one religion and one caste and I must not hold them guilty of the rape and murder of a Muslim girl.

I told them that as an officer of the J&K Police, I had no religion and my only religion was my police uniform,” she told.

On Monday, the eight accused of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl pleaded not guilty and asked the judge for a narco analysis test as the trial into the case, which has become the focal point of outrage across the country, began.

The eighth accused is a juvenile who moved a bail application before the chief judicial magistrate. The matter was posted for April 26.

According to the chargesheets filed by the Crime Branch, the abduction, rape and killing of the girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the nomadic community from the area. A separate chargesheet was filed for the juvenile.

Sanji Ram, the caretaker of the 'devisthan' (temple) in the village in Kathua, about 90 km from Jammu, is listed as the main conspirator behind the crime, told the judge that they wanted narco analysis test and were ready for it.

The chargesheet also names the investigating officers head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Sanji Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.