Vishal Jangotra, a student of a Muzaffarnagar college, has been acquitted by the Pathankot court in the high profile Kathua rape and murder case as the Special Investigation Team (SIT) could not provide sufficient evidence to prove his involvement in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua last year.

When the incident was reported in January last year, one of the accused, Vishal Jangotra, who was a student of B Sc (Agriculture) in a CCS University affiliated college of Muzaffarnagar, was appearing for his exams.

This fact was verified with the university a number of times during the course of the investigation. The court though acquitted Vishal but convicted his father Sanji Ram, his cousin and a special police officer Deepak Khajuria as they were found guilty of the crime.

CCS University spokesperson Prashant Kumar said that the court had summoned the university staff a number of times to verify the claims of Vishal’s lawyer that he was appearing for the exams at the time of the incident. “We had appeared in the court with the relevant and available documents in this regard,” said Kumar.

The SIT had arrested Vishal Jangotra from Muzaffarnagar’s Meerapur town where he was studying. In his statement, Vishal had said that he was appearing for his examination at the time of the incident hence he was not present at the scene of the crime. The SIT, however, claimed that someone else appeared for the exam in his place while Vishal travelled to Kathua and committed the crime along with the other convicts.

The SIT visited his college and CCS University to verify his claims and also collected his answer sheets, attendance sheets and other documents.

The court, on completion of the hearing, found no evidence against Vishal and acquitted him.

Six persons, including Vishal’s father Sanji Ram, who was the main accused were on Monday convicted by the Pathankot court for the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua last year.

The six convicted include Sanji Ram, Sub-inspector Anand Dutta, special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, head constable Tilak Raj and Parvesh Kumar.