April 2018 News

Kathua Rape-murder: Lawyers Stop Police From Filing Chargesheet

9 April 2018
Times of India
Sanjay Khajuria

Jammu: A group of irate lawyers from one community on Monday prevented the crime branch of J&K police from filing chargesheet against the seven accused who raped and murdered an eight-year-old girl from another community three months ago in Kathua district . The minor, from a nomad community, had been held captive, sedated and raped for several days at a temple before she was murdered at Rassana village in Kathua district, according to the J&K Police crime branch investigation based on DNA test, forensic evidence and post-mortem report. The gruesome incident triggered communal tension and protests from both communities in the state. On Monday, as soon as the Special Investigation Team of the crime branch along with the accused reached the Kathua court complex around 4.15pm, the lawyers began protesting. A police contingent tried to make way for the crime branch team to enter the court complex, but their attempts failed in the face of the rancorous protests by the lawyers. Himanshu Sharma, a lawyer in Kathua, said the advocates prevented crime branch officials from filing the chargesheet because they had been demanding a CBI probe into the case. Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah, condemning the lawyers, tweeted, 'Shame on them & their political masters. An 8 year old girl is raped & murdered and these so called lawyers do not want to see justice delivered.' The High Court Bar Association in Jammu called for a Jammu bandh on April 11 for their demand of a CBI probe into the case and against illegal settlement of Rohingya refugees. The crime branch team, sources said, was camping at Police Lines in Kathua and might parade the accused before the Chief Judicial Magistrate late night. Though senior officials of the crime branch were not available for their comments, but one of them, who did not want to be named, said the chargesheet against the seven had already been produced before the CJM.