'Give security to Kathua victims', Supreme Court directs JK government

'Give security to Kathua victims', Supreme Court directs JK government

PTI, NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to provide security to the family members of the eight-year-old girl, who was brutally gangraped and murdered at Kathua in the state, along with their lawyer and a friend assisting them in pursuing the case.

The girl, belonging to the Bakherwal community, was held in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week during which she was sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death.

At the same time, it issued notice to the state of Jammu and Kashmir on a plea by the victim's father seeking to transfer the Kathua rape and murder trial to Chandigarh because of the protests it has sparked.

The bench then agreed to hear the petitions at 2 PM today itself.

The march began from the High Court complex and culminated at the city centre Lal Chowk, during which the lawyers shouted slogans against two Bharatiya Janata Party Ministers - who have since resigned from the Cabinet - for taking part in a Hindu Ekta Manch rally in Kathua district in support of the rape accused.

"We very much hope that the authorities will bring the perpetrators to justice so they can be held accountable for the murder of this young girl", he said.

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According to the latest report in the Unnao rape case, the accused Kuldeep Singh Sengar, an MLA of the ruling BJP, was sent to seven-day custody by a Special CBI court on Saturday, while the medical examination of the 17-year-old victim was conducted at a hospital in Unnao earlier that day.

The eighth accused is a juvenile who moved a bail application before the chief judicial magistrate.

Deepika Singh Rajawat, a lawyer representing the victim's kin, will personally appear before the apex court to inform it about the alleged threats she has received. "Next date of hearing is April 28", said Ankur Sharma, counsel for the accused, to ANI. The Supreme Court initiated a case on its own record saying such impediment "affects the dispensation of justice and would amount to obstruction of access to justice". I might be raped, my modesty may be outraged, I may be killed, I might be damaged.

It lists Sanji Ram, the caretaker of the "Devisthan", as the main conspirator behind the crime. After losing two daughters to an accident some years ago, they had adopted the girl of his brother in-law but she too has left them.

Ahmed, a non-affiliated member who wanted the United Kingdom government to take up the issue of self-determination in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and the northeast, mentioned the Kathua rape case while asking how Britain could help bring her assailants and those in other cases to justice. The charge sheet also names investigating officers head constable Tilak Raj and Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence. "We will go by the principle of fair trial that involves conducive atmosphere at the trial venue, witness protection and fair representation given to parties through advocates".

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