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Husband, in-laws named as accused in Rashika death case chargesheet

Court issues arrest warrants against Kushal Jain’s parents, who have been declared ‘absconding’ in the chargesheet

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 17.08.22, 06:12 AM
Rashika Jain

Rashika Jain

File picture

Kolkata police have submitted a chargesheet in connection with the death of young homemaker Rashika Jain, who had died after falling from a height at her in-laws’ Alipore residence in southwest Kolkata last year, and named her husband and in-laws as accused.

Rashika’s husband, Kushal Agarwal, who is in judicial custody, and his parents Naresh and Neelam Agarwal have been charged under the Indian Penal Code sections on causing death for dowry, mental and physical torture, criminal breach of trust and common intention.

The court has issued arrest warrants against Kushal’s parents, who have been declared “absconding” in the chargesheet, the police said on Tuesday. The charges, if proved, could lead to a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

“It emerged during investigation that Rashika Jain was subjected to torture, both mental and physical, by Kushal Agarwal and his parents for dowry since her marriage on February 9, 2020. It was found that she underwent treatment to cope with the stress and even returned to her parental home but eventually went back to her in-laws’ place,” said an investigator involved in the probe.

The police said the chargesheet submitted before the chief judicial magistrate at the Alipore court last Thursday contained the statements of 52 witnesses and left the scope for a supplementary chargesheet as the forensic reports were still pending.

Rashika died in February 2021. Her parents and family had been alleging delay and a partisan role of the police in handling the case. Rashika, who was 25 when she died, had suffered critical injuries, possibly from a fall from the third-floor terrace of her in-laws’ home in Alipore on February 16, and died at a hospital.

Acting on a petition filed by Rashika’s family, Calcutta High Court had ordered the formation of a special investigation team headed by the special commissioner, Kolkata police, Damayanti Sen, in June 2022.

Less than a month after the probe was taken over by the SIT, the police arrested Kushal Agarwal.  Kushal has been in police and judicial remand since then. After submission of the chargesheet by the Kolkata police, the court on Thursday issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Kushal’s parents.

“This is a fit case for custodial trial. Two persons have been named absconding in the chargesheet. Either they should be arrested immediately or they should be excluded according to law so the trial of the custody accused can be concluded at the earliest. The onus to complete the procedure lies with the police. The two accused who are now absconding should face separate trials when they will be taken into custody,” said Rashika’s lawyer Sk. Salim Rahman.

Last updated on 17.08.22, 06:12 AM

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