Over three weeks after the Supreme Court shifted the Kathua rape and murder case from Jammu and Kashmir High Court to Pathankot court in Punjab, today the eight accused in the case were produced in front of the district and sessions judge, reported Kashmir Age.
SC had earlier asked the district and sessions to personally carry out the trial proceedings and not assign it to other sessions judges. It also resolved to monitor the progress of trial in the case and that no other court should entertain any other plea related to the matter.
The court will undertake the proceedings according to the provisions of Ranbir Penal Code applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.
Today, the court saw an extreme level of security, including a large number of policemen and women personnel, to ensure smooth trial. The security staff blocked the main entrance of the complex to restrict the entry of vehicles, including those owned by the staffers. They asked the staff members to park their vehicles in an adjacent complex.
All necessary arrangements are in place to ensure smooth trial in the case
They also deployed CCTV vans in the court to ensure safety from trouble makers.
“All necessary arrangements are in place to ensure smooth trial in the case,” a senior police officer supervising the security arrangements in and outside the court told PTI.
On April 9, the crime branch had submitted its chargesheet on the gang rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl from Kathua village of Jammu district. The case garnered media attention when lawyers of the Kathua bar association reportedly tried to prevent the police from submitting the documents.
The chargesheet says that a group of men first kidnapped the girl, who is a daughter of a poor family belonging to the nomadic tribe of Bakerwal on January 10. Then they allegedly raped her over and over again in a temple in Kathua. They also sedated her for four days before bludgeoning her to death.
The accused in this case include the temple custodian and alleged mastermind Sanji Ram, his son Vishal, special police officers Deepak Khajuria alias ‘Deepu’ and Surender Verma, and a juvenile. The others arrested in the case are the juvenile’s friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu as well as head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta.
Picture credit- Arpita Das