United Nations (UN) chief Antonio Guterres on Saturday termed the Kathua gangrape and murder case ‘horrific’ and said he hoped that justice would be delivered.
“I think we’ve seen the media reports of this horrific case, of the abuse and the murder of a young girl. We very much hope that the authorities will bring the perpetrators to justice so they can be held accountable for the murder of this young girl," Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujjaric told reporters.
Dujjaric was responding to a question at a media briefing.
An eight-year-old girl in Kathua was kidnapped, kept in captivity for a week in a temple, drugged and raped by at least six men, sources said.
Protests against the incident were held across the country, demanding justice to the victim and death penalty to the culprits.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on Thursday midnight, carried out a candlelight march near New Delhi’s India Gate, demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak up on the Kathua and Unnao rape cases. The march was joined by senior Congress leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sharmishtha Mukherjee, Sanjay Nirupam, Priyanka Vadra, and many others.
Reacting strongly to the Kathua rape case, Maneka Gandhi, Women and Child Development Minister, said that her ministry will amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act and bring death penalty for those found guilty of raping children aged 12 years or below.
Gandhi said in a video, “I have been deeply, deeply disturbed by the rape case in Kathua, and all the recent rape cases that have happened on children. I and the (WCD) ministry intend to bring an amendment to the POCSO Act asking for death penalty for rape on children below 12 years.”
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch was formed to probe the incident. The team has arrested eight people till now. The main accused in the case is a retired revenue official Sanji Ram, his son Vishal, Ram’s nephew, and two other police officers.
The whole incident was meant to scare and drive away the nomadic Muslim Bakherwal community residing in the region.