SC says pro­tect Kathua vic­tim’s fam­ily; ac­cused plead not guilty

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - FRONT PAGE - Bhadra Sinha

NEWDELHI: The Supreme Court on Mon­day or­dered pro­tec­tion to the Kathua rape vic­tim’s fam­ily and their lawyer as it asked the Jammu and Kash­mir gov­ern­ment for its re­sponse to a plea for trans­fer­ring of the trial in the case to Chandi­garh.

The court’s or­ders came on a day eight peo­ple ac­cused of rap­ing and killing the eight-year-old girl in Jammu pleaded not guilty on the first day of trial in a Kathua court and asked for a narco test to be con­ducted on them.

The child, who be­longed to a Mus­lim no­madic com­mu­nity, was al­legedly held in cap­tiv­ity in a vil­lage tem­ple for a week in Jan­uary and raped be­fore be­ing blud­geoned to death.

While seven ac­cused were pre­sented be­fore the district and ses­sions judge, the eighth, a ju­ve­nile, moved a bail ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore a ju­di­cial mag­is­trate.

In Delhi, the apex court di­rected the Jammu and Kash­mir gov­ern­ment to strengthen se­cu­rity at the ju­ve­nile home where the mi­nor has been lodged.

The vic­tim’s fa­ther al­leged the mi­nor was be­ing vis­ited by politi­cians at the ju­ve­nile home.

Apart from or­der­ing pro­tec­tion for the eight-year-old’s fam­ily and their lawyer, Deepika Singh Ra­jawat, the court also asked the po­lice to guard Talib Hus­sain, who is help­ing the vic­tim’s fam­ily pur­sue the case. The po­lice per­son­nel will be in plain clothes, the court or­dered.

SUSHIL KU­MAR/HT

Deepika Singh Ra­jawat, lawyer for the Kathua vic­tim, at the Supreme Court.

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