Verdict in Kathua rape and murder case to be announced on today


Srinagar: The District and Sessions court in Pathankot is set to announce the verdict of the case related to the brutal gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomad girl from Kathua.

Public prosecutor Sankoth Singh Basra said the prosecution has a water-tight case.

“We hope the verdict will go the prosecution’s way. I am satisfied with the evidence presented in the court,” said Basra.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made in and around the court and in Kathua in view of the judgment.

The trial of the court was shifted to the District and Sessions Judge, Pathankot in June last year upon prior direction given by the Supreme Court after lawyers in Kathua prevented the crime branch officials from filing a charge sheet against the accused.

The former lawyer of the victim’s family stated that it was a difficult case as the tri-colour was misused and two cabinet ministers — Chander Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh — had supported the accused.

“What has happened in this case does not happen in routine cases,” said Deepika.

“I stood against my own people and my own community. Standing against your own people is a challenging job. However, I was motivated as I wanted a fair trial and fought to get the trial transferred to Pathankot so that justice could be delivered,” she added.

The investigation by J&K Police’s crime branch had revealed that the girl was abducted and kept at the Devasthan, where she was drugged, repeatedly raped and then killed.

The probe found eight people, including former revenue official Sanji Ram, his son Vishal and nephew (a juvenile), their friend Parvesh Kumar, two Special Police Officers (SPOs) Deepak Khajuria and Surender Kumar, Sub Inspector Anand Dutta and Head Constable Tilak Raj involved in the rape and murder.