Kathua family’s security onus on J&K Govt, says SC
ACCUSED PLEAD NOT GUILTY, SEEK NARCO TEST
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.