New Delhi: Announcing the quantum of punishment in the gangrape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, a Pathankot court on Monday awarded life imprisonment to three prime convicts– Deepak Khajuria, Pravesh Kumar and Sanjhi Ram. Further, a five-year jail term was announced for other three convicts.

SI Anand Dutta, head constable Tilak Raj and special police officer Surender Verma were sentenced to five years for destruction of evidence.

Further, a fine of Rs 1 Lakh was levied on the prime accused.

Earlier in the day, six of seven accused had been convicted. Village head and prime accused Sanji Ram, two special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, Head constable Tilak Raj, Anand Verma and Parvesh Kumar were found guilty by the special court. However, Sanji Ram’s son, Vishal, was acquitted in the case.

The day-to-day in-camera trial had concluded on June 3. This trial itself had begun in June last year after the Supreme Court directed that the case be shifted out of Jammu and Kashmir.

In January last year, the eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community was allegedly abducted and gang-raped in Kathua district.

Forensic medical experts had claimed that the girl was forcibly administered with an overdose of sedatives, which could have pushed her into a coma before she was killed.

The crime branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police investigating the crime sent a sample of her viscera to a forensic laboratory earlier this month to examine the effect of “mannar” candies (believed to be local cannabis) and Epitril 0.5 mg tablets, administered to the girl by her captors.

According to the medical opinion, the tablet given to the girl could have pushed her into a state of shock or coma (loss of consciousness). The crime branch had asked the medical experts to comment upon the plausible effect of the medicine on the child on an empty stomach.