Srinagar, April 16: The hearing in Kathua rape and murder case will begin today at the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Jammu and Kashmir. Lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat will appear for the family of the eight-year-old victim. The Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, to ensure “neutrality” in Kathua rape and murder case which has polarised the state. Catch latest updates on the hearing in Kathua rape and murder case here.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Crime Branch filed the chargesheet in Kathua rape and murder case last week. In chilling revelations, the chargesheet said the eight-year-old girl, belonging to the Bakherwal community, was allegedly raped by six men, who had held her in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January. The minor was kept sedated and sexually assaulted once again before she was bludgeoned to death, revealed the chargesheet.
The abduction, rape and killing of the Bakherwal girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, the chargesheet added. It lists the caretaker of the Devisthan (small temple), Sanji Ram as the main conspirator behind the abduction, rape and killing. He was allegedly joined by special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, Ram’s nephew, a juvenile, and his son Vishal Jangotra alias “Shamma”.
The chargesheet also names investigating officers head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence. “In the course of investigation, it transpired that Ram was against the settlement of Bakherwals in Rassana, Kootah and Dhamyal area and always kept on motivating members of his community not to provide land for grazing or any other kind of assistance to them,” the investigation said.
The eight-year-old girl’s body was recovered from Rassana forest in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area. The heinous crime has drawn huge criticism and anger from across the country with people demanding justice for the minor. Stay connected to get live updates on hearing in Kathua rape and murder case.