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Kathua rape case: Pathankot court likely to deliver verdict today

Indian Express 2019-06-10 07:51:02

Kathua rape case verdict today: Charges of rape and murder were framed against seven of the eight accused in the case. The trial against the juvenile is yet to begin. 

The verdict in the rape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua is likely to be delivered by a special court in Pathankot today. The case led to outrage across the country in January last year, with some groups in Jammu coming out in support of the accused.

According to the 15-page charge sheet, the eight-year-old girl, who was kidnapped on January 10, 2018 was allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district after having been kept sedated for four days before she was bludgeoned to death.

Charges of rape and murder were framed against seven of the eight accused in the case. The trial against the juvenile is yet to begin. 

The in-camera trial in the case had ended on June 3, following which District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh announced that the verdict would be delivered today. Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place in view of the high-profile nature of the case.

The day-to-day trial commenced in the first week of June last year at the district and sessions court in Pathankot after the Supreme Court ordered that the case be shifted out of Jammu and Kashmir.

There are eight accused in the case: former revenue official Sanji Ram, Special Police Officers Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, Parvesh Kumar, Ram’s son Vishal Jangotra and a juvenile who faces a separate trial. Two investigating officers – head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, are accused of destroying crucial evidence in the case.

Sanji Ram, considered the main accused, is alleged to have hatched the conspiracy along with the other accused, to kidnap the girl as part of a strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area.