Kathua rape case: All accused ready to go for narco test

Joann Johnston
April 17, 2018

In Kathua rape and murder case, police has charged nine including some senior police officers.

The state police say she was raped by six men who held her in captivity in a village temple for a week. She was then strangulated and her head hit with a stone twice leading to her death. Next hearing for the case is set for April 28.

"It would be impossible to have a fair trial in J&K".

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the hearing of the matter to 2 pm.

The father moved the Supreme Court on Monday alleging the circumstance in Kathua are not conducive to a free and fair trial and that it needs to be shifted.

The 19-year-old, also suspected to be a juvenile, has also filed a bail application that will be heard today.

Earlier in the day, all eight accused in the case have pleaded not guilty.

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The beginning of trial of the infamous case was fixed for Monday, but except postponing it to the next date no other proceedings took place as the crime branch did not provide copy of the 490-page charge sheet to the accused although the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had demanded fast-track trial of the case. "We all are ready to undergo narco test and none of us has any objection to it, " he said. "After the case was called and all accused appeared, I filed my Wakalatnama". Among the accused is a juvenile against whom a separate chargesheet has been filed.

Gowri from Mahila Mundade said, "If the BJP really sympathises with the victim, why are its female representatives in the state silent?"

The bench made it clear that it would confine itself only to the safety and security aspect at the moment.

The case is now also being compared to that of Nirbhaya, who was gangraped in a moving bus in 2012 and died of injuries a few days later. She was told to give up the case. The investigating agency is also likely to take remand of Atul Singh, the brother of the accused MLA to take him to Makni where he had brutally beaten the gang-rape victim's father along with others.

Later, lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat from Jammu, who is representing the victim, joined the protest and said she had been threatened by various Hindutva groups for taking up the Kathua case, she refused to be intimidated. "I can be raped, my modesty can be outraged, I can be killed, I can be damaged", Rajawat, who flew down to Delhi Saturday, told the media here.

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Meanwhile, a solidarity march for the minor victim was held from Gulshan Chowk to Nowpora, wherein locals, traders and civil society members holding banners denounced rape and murder of the minor Bakerwal girl. And today, the impunity of those in power makes them defend the rape of women and even of an 8-year-old girl. "As long as we ourselves do not take drastic steps to change the situation and take action, we will not go ahead", she added. A week later, her raped and battered body was recovered.

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