After a year of starting the trial in the Kathua gang rape and murder case of an eight-year-old tribal girl, the Pathankot Court is likely to deliver the judgment on June 10, special public prosecutor JK Chopra said on Monday.

The day-to-day video recorded trial began at the district and sessions court in Pathankot in June last year. The case’s jurisdiction fell in Jammu and Kashmir but the Supreme Court directed that the case be shifted out of Jammu and Kashmir because of fear to the family of the victim. Lawyers in Kathua allegedly have tried to block the Crime Branch officials from filing a charge sheet in the case. The details of the case sent shockwaves in the entire nation as the public outraged.

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As the court trial began, the victim’s family’s lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat also dropped out of the case and the family had to get another lawyer. The father of the nomadic girl belonging to the Bakarwal tribe filed an application in the Pathankot district and sessions court in November last year. He stated that Rajawat, who bolstered the case at the very beginning, won’t be representing them in the case anymore and that lawyer Mubin Farooky will replace her.

Farooky said that the father replaced Rajawat because she had “no time” to appear in the case. He revealed that she has appeared only twice since April when the trial began, media reported.

“More than 110 hearings in the case have taken place and more than 100 witnesses have been examined. But Rajawat has appeared in the case only twice. She has been claiming that she is receiving life threats because she has to appear in the case. It was decided that it is best to relieve her of this responsibility,” Farooky told ThePrint.

The charge sheet filed by the crime branch states graphic and gory details of the case of the young girl who was kidnapped on January 10 last year. She was missing for over 10 days before her body was found outside a small village temple in Kathua district. It has been reported that the girl was allegedly raped in captivity inside the temple. She was sedated for four days before the accused smashed her head with a rock which led to her death.

After a year of starting the trial in the Kathua gang rape and murder case of an eight-year-old tribal girl, the Pathankot Court is likely to deliver the judgment on June 10, special public prosecutor JK Chopra said on Monday.

The case garnered media attention when Rajawat took up the case and the girl’s family circulated the eight-year-old’s picture on social media to bring attention to the fact that she went missing for several days. After Rajawat filed the initial papers, the Jammu Bar Council protested against it and several protests happened to protect the accused. Judges’ fraternity threatened Rajawat against taking up the case.

The accused in this case are village head Sanji Ram, his son Vishal and his juvenile nephew, two special police officers Deepak Khajuria alias ‘Dipu’ and Surender Verma and friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu. Apart from these, two more names also surfaced in this case—Head Constable Tilak Raj and Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took four lakh rupees from Sanji Ram for destroying crucial pieces of evidence.

Picture credit: Hindustan Times

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