Last Update 0:25
Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Court convicts six in child rape, murder case in India's Jammu and Kashmir

Reuters , Monday 10 Jun 2019
Police
Media gather around a Punjab Police vehicle carrying the seven accused for the rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir (Photo: AFP)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 507
Share/Bookmark
Views: 507

An Indian court on Monday convicted six men of involvement in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in India's Jammu and Kashmir state last year, said a prosecution lawyer.

The case sparked outrage and criticism of the country's ruling party after some of its members opposed charges being laid.

The girl, from a nomadic Muslim community that roams the forests of Kashmir, was drugged, held captive in a temple and sexually assaulted for a week before being strangled and battered to death with a stone in January 2018.

The abduction, rape and killing of the child was part of a plan to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, the 15-page charge sheet said.

Among those accused were a Hindu priest and police officers, fanning communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims in the area.

"This is a victory of truth," prosecution lawyer M Farooqi told reporters outside the court. "The girl and her family has got justice today. We are satisfied with the judgment."

The prosecution was seeking the death penalty for three men - priest Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar - who were convicted of rape and murder, he said.

Three others, Surinder Kumar, Tilak Raj and Anand Dutta, were convicted of lesser crimes of destroying evidence.

A lawyer leading the legal team representing the accused, AK Sawhney, told reporters they planned to appeal the verdict.

The case shocked India, which has an appalling record for violence against women and girls, and led to the introduction of the death penalty for rapists of girls below the age of 12.

The trial, held in private, began over a year ago in Pathankot, a town about 70 km (44 miles) from Rasana village in Kathua district, where the incident happened, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

India's Supreme Court shifted the trial to the neighbouring state of Punjab after the girl's family and lawyer said they faced death threats, and local lawyers and Hindu politicians, including some from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, held protests against police filing charges in court.

India has long been plagued by violence against women and children. Reported rapes climbed 60 percent to 40,000 from 2012 to 2016, according to government statistics, and many more go unreported, especially in rural areas.

In total there are eight people accused of involvement in the case. The seventh man, named as Vishal, was found not guilty on Monday, Farooqi said, while the eighth, a juvenile, is currently awaiting trial.

Search Keywords:
Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.