Six held guilty in Kathua rape-murder case

Six held guilty in Kathua rape-murder case

Six held guilty in Kathua rape-murder case

The verdict in the case of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir will be delivered by a special court on Monday. Later in July 2018, the SC had ordered the transfer of the accused in the rape case from Kathua Jail to Gurdaspur Jail citing the exceptional circumstances of the case. The opinion would be submitted before the district and sessions court in Punjab's Pathankot, hearing the matter, after the summer break next week.

On May 7, the Supreme Court had shifted the trial to Pathankot, which is around 26 km from Kathua that had witnessed mass protests and triggered a political crisis in the state over the investigation report of Jammu and Kashmir police. Counsel for the accused SK Sawney said that they would file an appeal against the conviction of six persons would be filed before the Punjab and Haryana high court.

The crime branch, which probed the case, filed the main charge sheet against seven people and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile revealing chilling details about how the minor girl was allegedly kidnapped, drugged and raped inside a place of worship before being killed. His trial is yet to begin as a petition to determine his age is waiting judgement in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

Four non-official witnesses out of the 114 reportedly turned hostile during the trial.

The charge sheet filed by Jammu and Kashmir police crime branch on April 9 previous year had claimed that the girl was kept in a temple, where after four days of being drugged and repeatedly raped, her body was dumped in a nearby forest. The closed-door hearing in the case got completed on June 3, during which district and sessions judge Tejvinder Singh had announced that the verdict would be delivered on June 10. The accused, if convicted, would face a minimum sentence of life imprisonment and a maximum of death penalty.

The police filed an FIR against lawyers for protesting and attempting to prevent the crime branch officials from filing the charge sheet in the court on April 9.

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The prosecution team in the case comprised JK Chopra, SS Basra and Harminder Singh.

"Accordingly, on the basis of medical opinion, Section 376 (D) of the Indian Penal Code was added in the case".

The three policemen were convicted under Section 201 (destruction of evidence).

According to the charge sheet, the girl, who belonged to a Muslim nomadic tribe, was kidnapped and held captive at a village temple in Kathua district on January 10 a year ago. Investigators said the accused juvenile had abducted the girl under the pretext of helping her find her horses.

March 1, 2018: Two ministers of the BJP, part of the state's ruling coalition with the PDP, Chander Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh, attended a rally organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch after the arrest of the nephew of a caretaker of a temple in connection with the kidnapping and rape.

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