Kathua Rape: Accused Plead Not Guilty in Court, Demand Narco Test
Thousands joined Congress President Rahul Gandhi on his midnight vigil to India Gate with slogans and banners.
Thousands joined Congress President Rahul Gandhi on his midnight vigil to India Gate with slogans and banners.(Photo: Aradhya Agnihotri/The Quint)

Kathua Rape: Accused Plead Not Guilty in Court, Demand Narco Test

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What Is the Kathua Case?

The eight-year-old girl allegedly gangraped by six men who had held her in captivity in a small temple village in Kathua district for a week in January, was kept sedated so that she could be sexually assaulted once again before she was bludgeoned to death, reveals the chargesheet in the case accessed by PTI.

The abduction, rape and killing of the Bakerwal girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, reveals the 15-page chargesheet filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police's Crime Branch in the Chief Judicial Magistrate's court in Jammu on 9 April.

On 23 January, the J&K government had handed over the case to the crime branch of the state police which formed a Special Investigation Team and arrested eight people including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a head constable, who was charged with destruction of evidence.

Won't Allow Obstruction of Justice, Says Mehbooba

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, on Thursday, said her government will not allow law to be obstructed and justice will be delivered in the rape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old Bakerwal girl in Kathua district.

The rape-and-murder of the nomadic Muslim Bakerwal community girl has created a controversy after lawyers in Jammu called for a shutdown on 11 April, demanding the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

On Monday, lawyers in Kathua had tried to prevent the Crime Branch from filing the charge sheet in the case. The charge sheet has revealed some chilling details about how the girl was allegedly kidnapped, drugged, raped inside a place of worship before being killed.

Opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, however, lashed out at the chief minister for not taking any action against two BJP ministers who had attended a rally held in support of the persons accused in the case.

"What rubbish! They are HER ministers, not the Hon(ourable) PM s. The way for her to express her displeasure is to sack them in Jammu not come & leak her alleged displeasure in Delhi," Omar wrote on his twitter handle.

He was responding to tweets by a journalist from a TV channel in which she had said Mehbooba had expressed displeasure over BJP ministers actions in regard with this case. However, the journalist later pulled down the tweet.

"So even her displeasure wasn't genuine & the tweet has had to be deleted so that a corrected version could be issued," Omar said.

Also Read : Mehbooba assures no obstruction of justice in Kathua rape case

Bollywood Demands Justice in Unnao, Kathua Rape Cases

Angry, ashamed and heartbroken is how the Indian film industry personalities described their feelings over the Unnao and Kathua rapes and demanded swift action against the perpetrators.

Celebrities such as Javed Akhtar, Abhishek Bachchan, Swara Bhasker and Hansal Mehta took to social media to condemn the two brutal incidents that have shocked the nation.

Noted screenwriter Javed Akhtar said it was high time that people came forward in support of women rights.

“All those who wish justice for women should stand up and raise their voices against the rapists and their protectors in Unnao and Kathua.

“In Unnao, the brother of the alleged rapist is arrested for beating the father of the rape victim which caused his death. So far police has not taken any action in the rape case. The MLA is walking free and has the audacity to call the victim and her family ‘lowly people',” he wrote.

Abhishek Bachchan shared the girl’s photo and hashtagged her name.

Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar pleaded the case of an eight-year-old who was subjected to unspeakable brutalities.

“Imagine what goes through the mind of an 8 yr old as she is drugged, held captive, gang raped over days and then murdered. If you don't feel her terror, you are not human. If you don't demand [that the victim] get justice, you belong to nothing (sic)” Farhan tweeted.

Swara wrote, “An 8 year old girl was gangraped & murdered in a temple because she belonged to a Muslim tribe that Hindu right wing goons wanted evicted from their area! #Kathua #India this is on us!!!! If in #Delhi pls join TODAY.”

Also Read : Ashamed, Disgusted: Celebs React to the Kathua & Unnao Rape Cases

Those With Kashmir-Centric Mindset Portraying Stir for CBI Probe Communal: Jammu Bar Association

The Bar Association of Jammu (BAJ) on 12 April alleged that their agitation for a CBI probe into the rape was being portrayed as communal by those with a "Kashmir-centric mindset".

Batting strongly for justice for the victim, the BAJ claimed that the probe by the crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police was done on questionable line amid threats and coercion by a team of officers from Kashmir Valley including one who served jail term for alleged rape and murder of a minor.

The police have arrested eight people in the case, but the Bar Association has opposed the action alleging "targeting of minority Dogras". This includes two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a head constable, who was charged with destroying evidence.

Some of the arrested accused belonged to Hindu Ekta Manch, a right wing group.

"Kashmir-centric mindset tried to give our agitation for CBI probe a communal colour. They were trying to divide Jammu on communal lines. It is their conspiracy. It was portrayed as if we are against justice for the girl. We demand CBI probe for justice to the minor, and those involved should be punished," BAJ President B S Salathia said at a press conference in Jammu.

He said the BAJ, from the very beginning, called for fair and impartial probe to punish the guilty, "and that is why we demanded a CBI probe".

No Objection to CBI Probe in Kathua Rape-Murder Case: J&K DGP

The Jammu and Kashmir Police has no objection to a CBI probe into the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of the state, DGP S P Vaid said today.

The J&K Police, probing the case, had filed a charge sheet against the accused in a court in Kathua on Monday and Tuesday.

"We have no objection to a CBI inquiry, but the J&K Police is as competent as the CBI," Vaid said during a live broadcast on Twitter.

"If we can fight terrorism and stone pelters, why cannot the J&K Police perform the professional duties of investigation. Our officers go on deputation to the CBI," the DGP said.

Asked about one of the officers involved in the case, he said, "The sub-inspector... I have been told... was acquitted by the court." "There were officers from all regions and religions... The SIT had officers from all ranks, and they do not work according to religion," he said.

J&K Govt Appoints Two Sikh Prosecutors in Kathua Rape and Murder Case

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday, 12 April appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, for the trial in the case to ensure focussed attention and speedy conduct in the matter, a senior official said.

The government hereby appoint S Bhopinder Singh, Chief Prosecuting Officer, Crime Branch, Jammu and Harinder Singh, Chief Prosecuting Officer, Samba as Special Public Prosecutors to conduct the case titles State Verus Sanji Ram and others and another title (involving the juvenile) in the case pending disposal before principal sessions judge/ court of chief judicial magistrate, Kathua, Law Department Secretary Abdul Majid Bhat said in an order issued.

"This was done to ensure speedy conduct and ensure focussed attention to the case," a senior official said.

J&K Police DGP S P Vaid had written to the government in this regard by recommending two officers as SPPs to conduct the case.

"We wanted two officers to pursue the case from police department as others may take the case casually," another official said.

Asked whether two Sikh officers were engaged as SPPs to ensure "neutrality" in view of Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case, DGP Vaid said "please do not think on religious lines. It has not been done. Police does not think in terms of Hindu or Muslim or Sikh".

J&K Govt Will Enact Law for Death Penalty for Rape of Minors: Mehbooba

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said her government will enact a new law to make rape of minors punishable by death and asserted that justice will be delivered in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old Bakerwal girl in Kathua district.

“We will never ever let another child suffer in this way. We will bring a new law that will make the death penalty mandatory for those who rape minors, so that little girl's case becomes the last,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.

“I want to assure the entire nation that I stand committed not just to ensure justice (to the girl) but also seek exemplary punishment for those responsible for a crime whose brutal savagery has shamed humanity,” she said.   Earlier in the day, the chief minister said proper procedures were being followed in the case and investigations were on the fast track.

"The law will not be obstructed by the irresponsible actions & statements of a group of people. Proper procedures are being followed, investigations are on the fast track & justice will be delivered," Mehbooba tweeted.

KEY EVENT

Rahul Gandhi Leads Midnight Candlelight March to Protest Unnao, Kathua Rapes

(Photo: ANI)

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi led a midnight march to the India Gate in Delhi on Thursday midnight to protest the Kathua and Unnao rape cases and said it's time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to walk the talk on 'beti bachao' (save the girl child).

Amid slogans against the BJP and the prime minister during the march, Gandhi said the women of the country are afraid to go out today and the government must ensure their safety.

Gandhi was joined by his sister Priyanka and her husband Robert Vadra as also their children, besides scores of Congress leaders, party workers and others, who were seen shouting slogans, carrying candles and some even placards against the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir while demanding urgent action against the perpetrators of two heinous gangrapes – one in Unnao (UP) and the other in Kathua (J&K).

We are here against crimes being committed against women, against rapes, violence and murder and the government must act on this. This is a national issue and not a political one.
Rahul Gandhi, Congress President

"This is about our women. Thousands are present here including the common people and people from all parties. This situation is such today that one after another incident of murder, rape and violence is taking place in various parts of the country. We are standing here against that and we want the government to act," he said.

Also Read : Hundreds Join Rahul Gandhi’s March Against Kathua-Unnao Rapes

KEY EVENT

DCW Chief Writes to PM on Rape Incidents; To Go on Hunger Strike

DCW chief Swati Maliwal on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing concern over the increasing cases of sexual violence against women, and said she would go on an indefinite hunger strike at the Rajghat from Friday to protest the Unnao and Kathua rape incidents.

In her letter, she said sexual violence against women and children in the country had reached critical levels.

She appealed to the prime minister to "think about these girls" during his fast yesterday and work towards securing justice for them.

Maliwal reiterated her demand that a system be created to "award death penalty to rapists of children within six months".

The DCW chief wrote that taking inspiration from the prime minister's fast, she would go on an indefinite hunger strike from today until the prime minister comes up with a concrete plan to check the incidents of sexual assault against women in the country.

Also Read : DCW Chief to Go on Hunger Strike Over Kathua-Unnao Rape Cases

The District Court of Kathua on Monday, 16 April, directed that the chargesheet copies be provided to all accused after hearing in the Kathua rape and murder case.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir government, seeking a reply on the plea filed by the victim’s family for transfer of the case to Chandigarh.

Snapshotclose

  • BJP’s Ram Madhav claimed that his party leaders were not supporting the rape accused but were trying to pacify the crowd during protests
  • After backlash over his silence, PM Modi, on 13 April, called the Kathua and Unnao incidents an “embarrassment to civilised society”

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Congress Leaders Call Out BJP's "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" Campaign

Several Congress leaders have joined the agitation initiated by their chief Rahul Gandhi, who led a midnight march on Thursday, 12 April, to protest the Kathua and Unnao rapes.

The party has called out the BJP on what they believe is the latter’s hypocrisy in terms of a girl’s education and empowerment — the very basis of its “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign.

The government is sleeping and so at this time Congress will have to wake them up. PM had given a slogan, ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao’, and it’s in his regime that our girls are being raped. He isn’t taking action against his ministers who are trying to save the accused.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, MP, Congress
Ambika Soni
Ambika Soni
(Photo: ANI)

Congress leader Ambika Soni too stated that the Kathua rape case has presented a shame upon society. Calling out the BJP’s silence on the issue, she said:

“We cannot have been so depraved to become inhuman and do such a thing. It's taking so long to nab the culprits when everybody knows who they are and still you are not able to ply the processes of the law,” reports ANI.

Also Read : ‘What Have We Become’: Rahul Gandhi, Ministers on Kathua Rape Case

BJP Calls Congress March a "Fashion War"

BJP leader Vaibhav Agarwal reportedly called the midnight march led by Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders, to protest against the Kathua and Unnao rapes, a “fashion war”.

As reported by NDTV, he said: “This is clearly a demonstration to politicise the issue. People are taking selfies for god's sake. It's a fashion war.”

There is a process of law. If the agency has been given a case, allow them to carry out a probe. Why is there so much defence?
BJP leader Vaibhav Agarwal told NDTV

Lawyers Urge CJI to Take Cognisance of J&K Advocates' Conduct

As reported by News18, a group of lawyers in the Supreme Court approached Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and requested him to take suo moto cognisance of the conduct of the J&K advocates who were stalling the filing of a chargesheet.

A PIL in this regard is likely to be filed today.

There Should Be No Victim Shaming: Smriti Irani

Speaking to ANI about the Kathua rape and murder case, I&B Minister Smriti Irani said that it’s imperative that victim shaming isn’t practiced.

File image of I&B Minister Smriti Irani.
File image of I&B Minister Smriti Irani.
(Photo: PTI)
Law agencies and government are taking necessary action. As a woman, I believe and request there should be no victim shaming.
Smriti Irani to ANI

Praising the efforts made by the investigating teams in the case at hand, DGP SP Vaid told ANI: “The SIT has done a very professional job and filed chargesheet, now we hope justice will be done.”

KEY EVENT

Maneka Gandhi to Ask for Death Penalty for Child Rapists

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday announced that she intends to ask for the death penalty for those who rape children under the age of 12-years.

A report by The Times of India quotes her as saying:

I am deeply, deeply disturbed by the rape case in Kathua, and all the recent rape cases. I and the ministry intend to bring an amendment to the POCSO Act, asking for death penalty (as punishment) for the rape of children below 12 years of age
Maneka Gandhi, as reported by The Times of India
KEY EVENT

SC Seeks Material on Strike by JK Bar Body

In response to the lawyers’ plea to the Supreme Court to take cognisance of Jammu and Kashmir advocates' conduct in the case, a bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra asked lawyer PV Dinesh to furnish some material with regard to the actions of the bar bodies in order to enable the apex court to take suo motu action on the strike.

Dinesh had earlier referred to the decisions of the local bar association that had allegedly come out in support of the people who had allegedly gangraped and killed the minor in Kathua.

"Something must come on record. We have nothing on record," the bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said and asked the lawyer to file some material in support of his contention.

The bench assured the lawyer that it would consider the matter if adequate material is brought before it.

Culprits Should be Hanged: Father of Kathua Rape Victim

Speaking to ANI, the father of the eight-year old girl who was raped and murdered in Kathua said that the ones who committed the heinous crime on his daughter should be “hanged till death”.

I miss my daughter everyday. Those responsible for killing my daughter should be hanged till death.
The victim’s father told ANI

"Your Silence Is Unacceptable": Rahul Gandhi

Hours after his midnight vigil, Congress president Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak about the “growing” violence against women and children.

Later in the day, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the whole country was waiting for PM Modi to speak out.

When police want to file chargesheet, the lawyers obstructing. Why is PM Modi silent on Kathua and Unnao rape cases? The whole country is waiting to hear from the prime minister, Yogi Adityanath and Mehbooba Mufti.

"Victim's Family Should Get Justice": Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the victim's family should get justice, in connection to the Kathua gangrape case.

"BJP Ministers Misled in Supporting Accused in Kathua": Meenakshi Lekhi

BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi, speaking to NDTV, said that BJP ministers were “mislead in supporting the accused”. When asked about the prime minister’s silence in the matter, she accused the Congress and media of “double speak”.

Delhi HC Issues Notice to I&B Min About Disclosing the 8-Yr-Old's Name

The Delhi High Court chief justice Gita Mittal took suo motu cognizance of media houses disclosing the name of 8-year-old Kathua gang rape victim.

Notice has been issued to I&B ministry, and several media houses are reportedly under the scanner.

Also Read : Delhi High Court Slams Media for Revealing Kathua Victim’s Name

KEY EVENT

PM Modi Breaks His Silence On Kathua, Unnao Rapes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, 13 April, broke his silence on the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, that have rocked the conscience of the nation.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Ambedkar Memorial in New Delhi, the prime minister said that the “guilty” will not be spared. He asserted that the government will ensure that happens.

The incidents in the past two days are an embarrassment to the civilised society. We bow our head before the founding figures of the nation. No culprit will be spared, justice will be delivered. Those daughters will get due justice; all of us have to fix the problem together. The guilty will not go unpunished and the Government of India will not leave any stone unturned to ensure that happens.
KEY EVENT

J&K Ministers Who Backed Kathua Rape Accused Quit

Jammu and Kashmir BJP ministers Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, who backed the accused in the Kathua rape case, have reportedly tendered their resignation to state party chief Sat Sharma, on Friday, 13 April.

J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti reportedly expressed her displeasure and asked BJP to remove the two ministers, reported ANI, quoting sources.

KEY EVENT

BJP MP Who Suggested Pak-Link to Kathua Rape Clarifies

BJP MP Nandkumar Singh Chauhan, who had earlier suggested that there were Pakistan links to the Kathua rape. He blamed the media for reporting only “half” of his statement.

Only half of my statement was reported. She was daughter of the nation. I only said I suspect that Pakistani infiltrator were involved in raising “Jai Shri Ram” slogans as no Hindu group can do this after raping and killing a minor girl: 
BJP MP Nandkumar Singh Chauhan

"Told Party We Should Support Investigation": Ram Madhav

BJP’s National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Friday, 13 February said that the two former ministers who spoke in support of the rape accused were under the presure of local public.

There was indiscretion on part of our two ministers (Lal Singh & PC Ganga), coming under pressure of local public, they spoke at a gathering. I immediately flew to Jammu as soon as I got to know and told party that we should fully support the investigation.
Ram Madhav, BJP National General Secretary
We actually acted very fast, state government and police acted swiftly. Congress is trying to politicize the issue. I am accusing Congress of being behind the agitations in Jammu.
Ram Madhav, BJP General Secretary 

Lawyers Obstruction Affects Dispensation of Justice: SC

Taking strong note of some lawyers obstructing the judicial process in the Kathua gangrape and murder case, the Supreme Court on 13 April initiated a case on its own record saying such impediment "affects the dispensation of justice and would amount to obstruction of access to justice".

The top court said that it is a settled law that a lawyer who appears for a victim or accused cannot be prevented by any bar association or group of lawyers, for it is his duty to appear in support of his client.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud was also critical of the Jammu High Court Bar Association, which had passed a resolution not to attend the courts saying "it is the duty of the bar association as a collective body and they cannot obstruct the process of law".

If a lawyer who is engaged, is obstructed from appearing in the court or if his client is deprived of being represented in the court when he is entitled to do so in a lawful manner, that affects the dispensation of justice and would amount to obstruction of access to justice and interference with the administration of justice
The Bench said in its order

The top court took initiated the case suo motu after some lawyers brought to its notice that the members of the Kathua District Court Bar Association at Jammu & Kashmir, are obstructing the lawyer who is appearing on behalf of the family of the victim in the court.

(With inputs from PTI)

KEY EVENT

Mufti to Ask For Special Fast Track Court For Kathua Rape Victim

Informed sources told IANS that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was likely to request the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to constitute a fast track trial court to deliver a sentence in the case. This will be the first in the state and is expected to complete trial in 90 days.

The Chief Minister is also slated to announce the termination of the accused police officers against whom a chargesheet has been filed.

Mufti met PDP legislators and senior ministers in Srinagar on Saturday to discuss the future course of action on the Kathua rape and murder case of an eight-year-old minor girl.

J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti in a PDP meeting in Srinagar.
J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti in a PDP meeting in Srinagar.
(Photo: ANI)

BJP Leaders Didn’t Try to Influence Kathua Rape Probe: Ram Madhav

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said on Saturday, 14 April that it is incorrect to say that the party members tried influencing the investigation in the gangrape and murder of the eight-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir.

“BJP will forward the resignations of two ministers to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. It is incorrect to say that the BJP leaders tried to influence the investigations. There may have been some indiscretion on their part, but now all of us will try to bring things back to normal,” party’s state incharge Ram Madhav said in a press conference.

Also Read : BJP Leaders Are Not Pro-Rapists: Ram Madhav on Kathua Rape Case

Sacrificed For My Party: Ex-BJP Leader Who Supported Kathua Rape Accused

A day after he quit the party after national backlash, J&K BJP leader Chander Prakash Ganga said, “If my resignation can save the image of my party, I will give this sacrifice.”

As per ANI, Ganga said that he was not pressured into submitting his resignation.

Ganga and another BJP leader Choudhary Lal Singh had resigned on Friday after their participation in a rally supporting the accused in the Kathua rape and murder case was criticised.

Also Read : ‘Party Sent Us to Kathua Rally’, says BJP Minister Who Resigned

Proposal For Death Penalty For Rape of Minor Below 12 Being Prepared: Maneka

Union minister Maneka Gandhi said on Saturday that her department is preparing a proposal for an amendment to the POCSO Act to provide for death sentence for the rape of a minor below the age of 12 years.

After preparing a Cabinet note in this regard, her department will send it to various ministries, including law, for their opinion, the women and children development (WCD) minister told PTI.

"My ministry will seek an amendment to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for death penalty to convicts of rape of minors below 12 years," she said.

Tough punishment will act as a strong deterrent for such an offence, she said.

Nation's Resolve For Justice in Kathua Rape Will Restore Faith in System: Mufti

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the country's resolve for ensuring justice in the Kathua rape-and-murder case would go a long way in restoring people's confidence in the system.

She hailed the country's political leadership, the judiciary, the media and the civil society for standing with the Jammu and Kashmir government to ensure justice for the eight-year-old victim in the case.

"The essence of India's democracy lies in its robust institutions and it has been once again established that these institutions have the grit to ensure justice to all sections of society," Mehbooba said at a meeting of PDP legislators in Srinagar.

KEY EVENT

Rapists Should be Hanged: Nirbhaya's Mother

Parents of Nirbhaya, the paramedic student raped and murdered in Delhi in 2012, on Saturday advocated death penalty for rapes and said though society had progressed, "our daughters are not safe".

"I feel very sad that we have progressed as a society a lot, but still our daughters are not safe today. I demand rapists should be hanged," Nirbhaya's mother said at the venue of DCW chief Swati Maliwal's indefinite hunger strike that entered its second day on Saturday.

Why Has Congress Taken No Action: Javadekar

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday, 15 April questioned why no action was taken by the Congress against state chief Ghulam Mir who also voiced his support for the accused.

Our two ministers resigned, but Congress state chief Ghulam Mir said the same. So why no action against him by Rahul ji?Jammu Bar Association chief was polling agent of Gulam Nabi Azad. Azad ji has no responsibility? He should apologize to nation
Prakash Javadekar,Union Minister
KEY EVENT

J&K CM Accepts BJP Ministers' Resignation

J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti accepted the resignations of Cabinet ministers from the BJP Chandra Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh, reported ANI.

The two ministers had earlier voiced their support to the accused in the Kathua case.

KEY EVENT

Trial in Kathua Rape and Murder Case Begins Today

The trial in the gruesome Kathua rape and murder case begins on Monday, 16 April, against the eight accused who allegedly held an eight-year-old girl in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January, during which she was kept sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death.

The accused include a juvenile against whom a separate charge-sheet was filed.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Kathua will be committing one of the chargesheets, in which seven people have been named, to the Sessions Court for trial as mandated under the law. The Chief Judicial Magistrate will, however, hold the trial for the juvenile as it is the designated court under the Juvenile Justice Act, according to officials.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, for the trial in the sensitive case, a move being seen as made to ensure "neutrality" in view of the Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case.

(Source: PTI)

KEY EVENT

Victim's Father to Move SC Seeking Transfer of Trial

The father of the Kathua rape victim will reportedly move Supreme Court on Monday, 16 April, to seek transfer of trial to Chandigarh from Kathua. The father, through advocate Sunil Fernandes, will also seek security for his family and lawyers representing them in the case.

KEY EVENT

Full Chargesheet Not Provided: Counsel of the Accused Constable

Aseem Sahni, counsel of the accused constable Tilak Raj, said that a full copy of the charge-sheet was not provided to him. He said that they were “handicapped” and were depending on social media for information.

KEY EVENT

SC to Hear Plea at 2PM Today

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the plea of Kathua rape victim’s family, seeking security and also to transfer the trial to Chandigarh at 2 PM today.

Accused in Case Brought to District Court

Visuals of the accused in the Kathua rape and murder case being brought to the District Court in Kathua.

KEY EVENT

Everything Will be Clear After Narco Test: Accused

One of the accused in the Kathua rape and murder case, speaking to media after the hearing at the District Court, said that everything will be “clear” after the narco test.

KEY EVENT

Accused Plead Not Guilty in Trial Court

The eight people accused of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl in Kathua pleaded not guilty and asked the district and sessions judge for a narco test.

As the trial in the case, which has become the focal point of outrage across the country, began in Jammu, District and Sessions Judge Sanjay Gupta asked the state Crime Branch to give copies of the chargesheet to the accused.

The next date of hearing is reportedly on 28 April.

KEY EVENT

SC Issues Notice to J&K Govt on Plea Seeking Transfer of Case

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice asking the Jammu and Kashmir government to reply to the plea filed by the victim’s family, seeking to transfer the case to Chandigarh.

Seeking the response, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the state to provide adequate security to the victim's family, their lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, her family and Talib Hussain -- a member of local Bakerwal community -- who is helping the victim's family in the case.

Senior counsel Indira Jaising, appealing for the victim's father, expressed satisfaction with the investigation and told the court that they wanted transfer of the trail so that it could be a fair one.

The court directed the next hearing of the matter on 27 April.

Jammu Lawyers Suspend Agitation, Resume Work

The Jammu High Court Bar Association (JHCBA) resumed work after staying away from courts for 12 days in support of their various demands including handing over the Kathua rape and murder case to CBI and deportation of illegally settled Rohingyas.

The decision to resume work was taken at a general house meeting of the JHCBA held under the chairmanship of its president B S Slathia.

“The general house decided to temporarily suspend the agitation, responding to the appeal of Bar Council of India (BCI), and the Supreme Court taking cognizance of the issue (Kathua rape and murder case),” Slathia told PTI.

The JHCBA went on a four-day strike initially on 4 April in support of four demands, which included clarity from the government on tribal affairs and district status to Nowshehra sub-division in Rajouri district. It later extended the strike till 17 April.

The JHCBA also sponsored a general strike in Jammu on 11 April but faced severe criticism from various quarters.

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