Kathua rape accused to be produced before Punjab's Pathankot Court on May 31

29 May 2018, 06:17 PM
Kathua rape accused to be produced before Punjab Court on May 31 ( Representative Image)
Kathua rape accused to be produced before Punjab Court on May 31 ( Representative Image)

The eight men accused in the Kathua rape and murder case will be produced before a court in Pathankot in Punjab on May 31 in accordance with the Supreme Court directions, officials said on Tuesday.

The eight were accused of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district.

The J-K Crime Branch will produce the charge sheet in the case and all the accused in the case before the district and sessions judge in Pathankot, 30 km from Kathua.

The police team will request permission to translate all the documents from Urdu to English. Also, citing security concerns in transporting the accused to court, the public prosecutor will move a plea to keep them in judicial custody in Pathankot, the officials said.

"The learned district and sessions judge, Pathankot, shall himself take up the trial and not assign it to any additional sessions judge and shall fast-track the trial and take it up on day-to-day basis so that there is no delay in trial," the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court order had said earlier in May.

Several petitions in the case were filed in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court as well as the Supreme Court. And, the Crime Branch had submitted a charge sheet in the crime on April 9 before the Kathua court.

Earlier, lawyers of the Kathua bar association tried to prevent the police from filing the documents in the case.

According to the 15-page charge sheet, the minor girl was kidnapped on January 10 and allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district after having sedated her for four days and was bludgeoned to death. It states that the kidnapping, rape and killing of the child was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the region.

The charge sheet names eight people, including temple custodian and alleged mastermind Sanji Ram, his son Vishal, a juvenile nephew and special police officers Deepak Khajuria alias 'Deepu' and Surender Verma. The others arrested in the case are the juvenile's friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu as well as investigating officers head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.

The case became a bone of contention between the state government's alliance partners PDP and the BJP.

Two BJP ministers Chowdhury Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga were sacked for taking part in a 'Hindu Ekta Manch' rally in support of the accused arrested by the Crime Branch.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 06:10 PM

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