EIGHT-YEAR-OLD’S Family To MOVE SC FOR TRIAL OUTSIDE J&K
BAR COUNCIL OF INDIA ASKS JAMMU BAR ASSOCIATION TO CALL OFF ITS STRIKE
The family of the 8-year-old who was raped and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua, has decided to ask the Supreme Court to transfer the trial to another state. The murder of the child, who belongs to a nomadic Muslim community, outraged the country after the details were exposed in a police charge sheet last week.
Citing that the local lawyers stopped the Crime Branch from filing the charge sheet at the Kathua district court, the family lawyers said they would ask for a transfer.
“We are apprehensive that the trial will not happen peacefully, we request the Supreme Court to transfer this case to some other state,” the lawyer added.
On Saturday, Chander Parkash Ganga, one of the J&K ex-ministers accused of attending a rally of the Hindu Ekta Manch, claimed that he had participated in the event on BJP’S instructions.
He claimed the party was making him a scapegoat and said that he went there on J&K BJP president Sat Sharma’s orders.
Thousands joined in candle-light marches are being held across Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa and Kerala. Protests are also being held in Ajmer and Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh.
Nearly 2,000 protesters, includ- ing activists who participated in the ‘Not In My Name’ protests last year, have gathered in Parliament street at the heart of Delhi. Swati Maliwal, the chief of Delhi Women’s Commission, is holding a hunger strike.
Bar Council of India (BCI) on Sunday asked the Bar Association of Jammu (BAJ) to call off its strike and announced that it would constitute a five-member team to investigate the conduct of the association in the Kathua rape-and-murder case involving an eight-year-old girl.
“If any lawyer is found guilty in the case, we have the rights to cancel their license for a lifetime,” said Manan Kumar Mishra, chairman of BCI.
An FIR was registered against lawyers who had tried to block the presentation of a charge sheet by the Crime Branch in the court of a Chief Judicial Magistrate at Kathua in the case earlier this week on Monday. The lawyers also tried preventing a woman lawyer from appearing for the victim’s family.
India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday demanded the sacking of Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir, claiming that he was seen in a video terming the police probe in the Kathua rape-andmurder case motivated and defending the public protests against it.
Citing the BJP'S decision to remove two of its Jammu and Kashmir ministers, who had joined the public protests against the probe, Union minister Prakash Javadekar wondered if Congress president Rahul Gandhi would only point fingers at others but maintain silence on the comments of his party's Jammu and Kashmir unit chief.
In the video, which was played during a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, Mir is purportedly telling reporters that the locals believed the investigation was motivated and that the main culprits were still at large.
Questions would be raised and there must be some justification in the people's demand, Mir said, wondering if the probe was aimed at making some political points.
"When our ministers expressed these sentiments, the Congress, the media made a lot of noise. We took action.
They resigned. Now we want to ask Rahul Gandhi, who took out a candlelight march (protesting the growing incidents of crime against women in the country), why is he not taking action against his party's state president, Javadekar said.
Pointing fingers at others while protecting its own was the character of the Congress party, he alleged.
The authenticity of the video could not be independently verified.
The BJP had faced flak after its leaders in the Jammu region, including two ministers in the Mehbooba Mufti government, joined the public protests against the police probe into the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from the nomadic Bakarwal Muslim community that had led to the arrest of eight persons.
The two ministers -- Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga -- resigned on Friday, soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said these incidents, including a rape case in which a BJP MLA from Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh is the accused, had shamed the country and that justice would be ensured in all the cases.