Kathua fam­ily’s se­cu­rity onus on J&K Govt, says SC

AC­CUSED PLEAD NOT GUILTY, SEEK NARCO TEST

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

The Supreme Court on Mon­day in­sisted that the Jammu and Kash­mir Gov­ern­ment should pro­vide se­cu­rity to the Kathua gang rape vic­tim’s fam­ily and its lawyer Deepika Singh Ra­jawat.

It also sought the State gov­ern­ment’s re­sponse on the child's fa­ther seek­ing trans­fer of trial from Kathua to Chandi­garh – by April 27.

In Kathua, a stern warn­ing of the Apex Court to the strik­ing lawyers worked as they didn't dis­rupt the hear­ing on Mon­day.

The district and ses­sions judge, mean­while, has fixed April 28 for fram­ing of charges, di­rect­ing the po­lice to give copies of the chargesheet to all the eight ac­cused, who al­legedly held the child cap­tive in a small vil­lage tem­ple in Kathua district for a week in Jan­uary, sex­u­ally as­saulted her and then killed her.

The 3-judge Bench headed by Chief Jus­tice Di­pak Misra also dropped the idea of trans­fer­ring the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to the CBI af­ter the fa­ther stated that he was sat­is­fied with the probe con­ducted thus far by the J&K Po­lice.

The Bench, which also in­cluded Jus­tices A M Khan­wilkar and D Y Chan­drachud, asked the state gov­ern­ment to pro­vide se­cu­rity per­son­nel in plain clothes to the vic­tim's fam­ily, ad­vo­cate Ra­jawat and fam­ily friend Talid Hus­sain.

The eight peo­ple, who are ac­cused of rap­ing and killing the eight-year-old, have pleaded not guilty and asked the judge for a narco test. One of them is a ju­ve­nile who has moved a bail ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the chief ju­di­cial mag­is­trate.

Ac­cord­ing to the charge sheets filed by the Crime Branch, the ab­duc­tion, rape and killing was part of a care­fully planned strat­egy to up­root the no­madic com­mu­nity from the area. A sep­a­rate charge-sheet has been filed for the ju­ve­nile.

Sanji Ram, the care­taker of the tem­ple, is named as the main con­spir­a­tor in the crime. He was al­legedly joined by spe­cial po­lice of­fi­cers Deepak Kha­juria and Suren­der Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar

A shut­down called by a sec­tion of so­cial me­dia users against the rape and mur­der of a girl in Jammu and Kash­mir's Kathua hit nor­mal life in sev­eral parts of the state.

The worst-af­fected dis­tricts in­cluded Kozhikode, Kan­nur, Malap­pu­ram, Palakkad and parts of Thiru­vanatha­pu­ram.

Po­lice took sev­eral pro­test­ers into cus­tody, while the Bharatiya Janata Party state unit pe­ti­tioned the state po­lice chief to take ac­tion against the pro­test­ers.

The sit­u­a­tion turned tense in about three coastal ham­lets in Malap­pu­ram, forc­ing the district ad­min­is­tra­tion to pro­mul­gate pro­hibitory or­ders, with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, for a week to pre­vent assem­bly of peo­ple.

What be­gan as a cam­paign in the so­cial me­dia on Sun­day against the bru­tal­ity led to a shut­down with an­gry de­mon­stra­tors, some shout­ing anti-RSS slo­gans, block­ing traf­fic and forc­ing shops to shut, in­clud­ing a ma­jor shop­ping mall in the state cap­i­tal.

Buses and other ve­hi­cles were stopped from ply­ing on Mon­day morn­ing. How­ever, traf­fic re­sumed af­ter po­lice chased away the pro­test­ers.

In Kozhikode, Malap­pu­ram, Kan­nur and Palakkad, po­lice took some of the pro­test­ers into cus­tody. In Kan­nur district, the pro­test­ers and some shop-keep­ers en­gaged in a war of words.

Prime ac­cused Sanji Ram (R), the care­taker of the tem­ple, and the other ac­cused in the Kathua rape and mur­der case. These in­clude 2 po­lice of­fi­cers, Sanji Ram’s son and his nephew who is a ju­ve­nile.

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