Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Kathua rape/murder case: SC asks J&K govt to protect victim's family, lawyer

Kathua rape/murder case: SC asks J&K govt to protect victim's family, lawyer

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the J&K government's response to a petition filed by the Kathua rape-cum-murder victim's father, who has sought shifting the trial to Chandigarh, alleging that the surcharged atmosphere in Kathua was not conducive for a fair trial.

Members of the Kashmir Bar Association held a march to protest against the supporters of the accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl and demanded a speedy and fair trial.

The eight accused had allegedly held the minor girl in captivity in a village temple in Kathua district.

The Supreme Court April 13 took strong note of an attempt by a group of lawyers in Kathua obstructing the judicial process in the case and sought explanations from the Bar Council of India, Jammu and Kashmir Bar Council, Jammu High Court Bar Association and Kathua District Bar Association. The court has agreed to hear the plea at 2 PM today.

The crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police has submitted a chargesheet in the case against eight accused, including two special police officers and a sub-inspector and a head constable for destroying evidence.

A girl student said that they "want no less than a capital punishment for the rapists and our heart goes out for those who have suffered, but we are also supporting those people in the system who despite all odds stood firm to arrest culprits".

Dr SK Jauhari, who claimed to have conducted her medical examination on June 22 2017 after allegations of gang rape by her, told media that the victim was over 19 years of age as on the date of the medical examination.

The chief judicial magistrate of Kathua will be committing one of the charge sheets, in which seven people have been named, to the sessions court for trial as mandated under the law.

April. 16 (ANI): Counsel of Kathua rape victim's family, Deepika S Rajawat on Monday claimed that the Supreme Court has issued directions to authorities to provide protection to them (victim's family and counsel).

Speaking to news agency ANI, Deepika had said, "I don't know till when I will be alive".

Ahmed, a non-affiliated member who wanted the United Kingdom government to take up the issue of self-determination in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and the northeast, mentioned the Kathua rape case while asking how Britain could help bring her assailants and those in other cases to justice. "I agree with Manekaji (Gandhi) that death penalty should be instantaneous once proven guilty and there should be no bail or pardon, juveniles included, for all rapes", she writes on her official page of the micro-blogging site. The Supreme Court initiated a case on its own record saying such impediment "affects the dispensation of justice and would amount to obstruction of access to justice".

The Crime Branch has alleged that the crime was part of a conspiracy hatched by Sanji Ram to terrorise Bakarwals and drive them out of the area.

The victim was abducted while grazing her two ponies, drugged using pills meant to control seizures and kept at Devisthan, a small temple of which Ram is the custodian, where she was repeatedly raped by police officer Khajuria among others.

"As such, we have withdrawn our offer to contest the case free of cost".

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