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Kathua rape case accused plead not guilty, ready for narco test: Highlights

Kathua rape case trialThe Kathua rape and murder case trial, which began in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, will see its next hearing on April 28. The eight people accused of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl on Monday pleaded not guilty and offered to undergo narco tests. As the trial in the case began, the district and sessions judge asked the state crime branch to give copies of the chargesheet to all the accused and fixed April 28 as the next date of hearing.Of the eight people accused of the crime, one is a juvenile who is also under arrest. He has moved a bail application before a judicial magistrate which is yet to be heard.The case relates to eight people allegedly holding an eight-year-old girl captive in a small village temple in the state’s Kathua district for a week in January this year, sexually assaulting her, and then murdering her. The Kathua rape case trials began a day after protests were staged in various parts of the country by citizens outraged by the heinous crime.After the Jammu Bar association and the Kathua Bar received a rap on the kuckles by the Supreme Court on April 13, as the apex court took a strong note of certain lawyers obstructing the judicial process in the case, the Kathua trial is expected to be conducted smoothly. However, the Supreme Court’s actions in the matter and the Indian civil society’s demand for justice in the Kathua case have not eased the challenges faced by the lawyer of the victim’s family. The Kathua rape victim’s lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat on Sunday said that she feared for her life as she might get raped or murdered. She added that she had been called anti-Hindu and boycotted socially.The charge sheets filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s crime branch state that the abduction, rape, and killing of the minor Bakerwal girl was part of a carefully planned strategy aimed at forcing the minority nomadic community out of the area.A group of former civil servants on Sunday issued a strongly worded open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, holding him responsible “more than anyone else” for the “terrifying state of affairs” in the country. The letter asked Modi to check India’s “free fall into anarchy” by taking tough action against the alleged perpetrators of the Kathua and Unnao rape cases and the perpetrators of other hate crimes across the country. Two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers — Chandra Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh — have resigned following accusations of attending a rally in support of the alleged culprits of the crime.Here are the top 10 developments in the Kathua rape and murder case:
Court directed that chargesheet copies should be provided to all accused, we are ready for narco tests. Next date of hearing is April 28: Ankur Sharma, Counsel for accused. #KathuaCase— ANI (@ANI) April 16, 2018
Sikh special public prosecutors appointed for Kathua rape case trial to ensure ‘neutrality’: Two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, have been appointed by the Jammu and Kashmir government for the trial in the sensitive Kathua rape case. This move is being seen as an attempt to ensure “neutrality” in view of the Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case.Who are the eight accused in the Kathua rape and murder case? The charge sheet filed by the crime branch lists Sanji Ram, the caretaker of a small temple called ‘Devisthan’ in a village in Kathua, as the main conspirator behind the crime. Sanji Ram was allegedly joined by special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar (alias Mannu), Ram’s juvenile nephew, and his son Vishal Jangotra (alias Shamma) in commiting the crime. The charge sheet also names the investigating police officers — head constable Tilak Raj and Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta — for allegedly taking Rs 400,000 (Rs 4 lakh) from Ram and destroying crucial evidence in the Kathua case. All eight are under arrest.2) Kathua victim’s father seeks transfer of trial to Chandigarh: The victim’s father is seeking the transfer of the trial to Chandigarh from Kathua, according to a Times of India report.The grief-stricken family of the eight-year-old girl who was brutally raped and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, had set off on their annual journey to the pasture lands deep in the hills of the state, with the hope that justice will be done in the case. The family, belonging to the Bakerwal community, quietly packed their bags, saddled their horses and set off on the arduous journey to the higher hills a few days ago, the police said.4) Accused’s lawyer says ‘we are handicapped’: Aseem Sahni, the lawyer representing constable Tilak Raj, one of the accused in the Kathua case, said on Monday that the copy of the full charge sheet had not been provided to the defence. “We are depending on information from social media. We are handicapped,” he said.Full chargesheet copy has not been provided to us, we are depending on information from social media.We are handicapped: Aseem Sahni, Counsel for accused constable Tilak Raj #KathuaCase— ANI (@ANI) April 16, 20185) Rahul wants Modi to fast-track rape cases: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fast-track rape cases involving rape of minors if he was serious about providing justice.Gandhi tweeted that a total of 19,675 rapes of minors were reported in 2016 and called it shameful.“PM should fast-track these cases and punish the guilty if he is serious about providing ‘justice for our daughters’,” he said.
6) Nirbhaya’s mother blames delay in justice for Kathua, Unnao: Asha Devi, the mother of Nirbhaya, the 23-year-old victim of the brutal 2012 Delhi gangrape case, said that crimes like the Unnao and Kathua rape cases were taking place as the slow pace of judicial system was not instilling any fear in the minds of the culprits. The brutal 2012 Delhi gangrape case, often called the Nirbhaya case, had shaken the nation’s conscience. However, little appears to have changed on the ground when it comes to preventing crimes against women and children in the country since then.
#Nirbhaya ‘s mother Asha Devi said the crimes like #Unnao and #Kathua rape cases were taking place as the slow pace of judicial system is not instilling any fear in the minds of culprits.— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) April 15, 2018Nirbhaya’s mother said, “I feel very sad that we have progressed a lot as a society but our daughters are still not safe today. I demand rapists should be hanged.” Nirbhaya, who had been gangraped on a moving bus in the national capital on December 16, 2012, had succumbed in a Singapore hospital a fortnight later on December 29.
Source: Business Standard