Kathua rape and murder case: Trial against 8 accused begins

The Kathua and Unnao cases starkly expose the fault lines in our policing system

The Kathua and Unnao cases starkly expose the fault lines in our policing system

On Monday morning, the father of the eight-year-old rape victim moved the apex court, requesting to transfer the trial outside Jammu and Kashmir, citing lack of safety and security for his family. The court has set the next hearing date as April 28.

The eight-year-old girl from the Bakarwal tribe was abducted and sedated January, locked inside a temple and raped for nearly a week.

"As far as transfer of the case is concerned, he intends to file a reply", the SC said.

Lawyer Deepika Rajawat, who is representing the victim's family has said that there is a threat to her life and is even being called "anti-Hindu".

Known for his exceptional track record, police officer Ramesh Kumar Jalla, SSP Crime Branch, finished investigation of the case days before its scheduled time and helped fast-track the case.

And four, immediete security arrangements for all the families of the victims, and state support for arranging a competent prosecution team. Further the police were also ordered to provide security to the family's advocate. Senior Counsel Indira Jaising will appear on behalf of the victim's family. The atmosphere is highly polarised, she also said.

"The nation needs to join hands for a change, the law makers need to bring a change in the Constitution, harsh laws are needed so that such things don't get repeated", she added.

After the matter came to light when the victim tried to immolate herself outside Adityanath's residence in Lucknow on April 8 alleging police inaction for almost an year, criticism against the state government has mounted. An 8-year-old girl was allegedly drugged, tortured and gang-raped in a village temple for a week in the Kathua district in January. A separate chargesheet was filed for the juvenile. Meanwhile, the trial in the Kathua gangrape and murder case began today in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Jammu and Kashmir. The court listed the matter for next hearing to April 18. "The court directed that chargesheet copies should be provided to all accused".

Sanji Ram, 60: He is the prime accused in the case. He is said to have incited his nephew to abduct the girl.

Deepak Khajuria: A special officer, he had some enmity with the Bakarwals. The police has arrested a caretaker of a temple and alleged he was the mastermind behind the kidnapping, rape and killing of the girl from a nomadic tribe.

She, however, said they were "misled and misguided" by people and accused the Congress of communalising the rape incidents.

Deploring the fact that our society always tries to find faults with the victim, she said instead of judging women for the clothes they wear, or when they go out, the public should change its perception and stop victim-shaming. Sub-inspector Anand Dutta and head constable Tilak Raj have been arrested for helping the accused destroy evidence.

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