In the infamous gang rape and murder case of an eight years old girl in Kathua district of Jammu last year, a special court of Pathankot has convicted six out of seven accused persons on Monday, June 10. The person who has been acquitted from the case is Vishal Ram, son of village head man and main accused in the case, Sanji Ram.
In the infamous gang rape and murder case of an eight years old girl in Kathua district of Jammu last year, a special court of Pathankot has convicted six out of seven accused persons on Monday, June 10.
On June 3 district and sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh had concluded the cases’ hearings and declared that the verdict will be announced in a week’s time.
The six accused person who has been held guilty are Sanji Ram, 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.
The Pathankot court has pronounced life imprisonment of 25 years to Deepak Khajuria, Sanji Ram and another accused in the Kathua rape and murder case. Three others, who have been found guilty for destruction of evidence, have been sentenced to five years in jail.
After the judge pronounced the punishment, one of the prosecution lawyers said, “We are little disappointed. We had demanded for capital punishment… Maybe, we’re planning for that (challenging the verdict),” First Post reported.
The case has been regarded as a high profile in nature because of the way the nation outraged at the brutality with which the minor girl was gang-raped and killed over a period of a few days. The convicts then smashed her head with a rock and left her to die. This evoked severe anger amongst the public across the country. This case also led the government to strengthen the POCSO law where it passed the proposal of the death penalty for rapists who rape children of and below the age of 12.
The young tribal girl went missing from her village 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.
The young tribal girl went missing from her village 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.
Lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat was the first one to support the family of the deceased girl and took up her case. Rajawat’s intervention led the Jammu Bar Council to protest against her and threaten her to leave the case. Apparently, the bar council also protested to save the accused persons. After the state police also tried to protect the accused persons by destroying the evidence, it was transferred to the Crime Branch.
Supreme Court also had to intervene and move the court proceedings from the Jammu Court to Pathankot and put in place elaborate security procedures to ensure fairness.
Picture credit: Arpita Das