Kathua rape & murder case: six convicted, one acquitted, three including mastermind get lifer | KNO

Omar, Mehbooba, Mirwaiz, others welcome court verdict
Kathua rape & murder case: six convicted, one acquitted, three including mastermind get lifer | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, June 10 (KNO) : At least six persons were on Monday convicted by a court in Pathankot in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua while three among them including mastermind Sanji Ram and a policeman were awarded life imprisonment by the court. Giving a verdict Pathankot in open court, the District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh convicted six out of seven accused persons including Sanji Ram, Special Police Officers Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, two investigating officers — head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta and Parvesh Kumar. However, Sanji Ram’s son Vishal was acquitted due to lack of evidence, while an accused juvenile faces a separate trial. Meanwhile, three accused have been awarded life imprisonment while as three others (policemen) have been sentenced to five years imprisonment. According to KNO news Desk, the verdict of the court was given almost one and half year ago since the incident occurred in Rassana. The incident also sparked protests across Jammu and Kashmir and many parts of India. Earlier, elaborate security arrangements were made in and around the court and in Kathua in view of the pronouncement of the judgment, reports quoting official said. The situation will be monitored closely by the officials, they said. The day-to-day in-camera trial began in the first week of June last year at the district and session court in Pathankot after the Supreme Court directed that the case be shifted out of J&K after lawyers in Kathua had prevented crime branch officials from filing the charge sheet in the case. The trial was assigned to the district and sessions court in Pathankot by the Supreme Court after the victim’s family approached with a plea to transfer the case from Kathua. Meanwhile, the verdict of the court was welcomed by mainstream as well as the pro-freedom leaders in Jammu and Kashmir including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti and Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. NC vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah in a tweet called for a severe punishment for the convicted. “Amen to that. The guilty deserve the most severe punishment possible under law. And to those politicians who defended the accused, vilified the victim & threatened the legal system no words of condemnation are enough. #KathuaRapeCase,” Omar tweeted. PDP chief and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti hoped that loopholes in judicial system would not be exploited. “Welcome the judgement. High time we stop playing politics over a heinous crime where an 8 year old child was drugged, raped repeatedly & then bludgeoned to death. Hope loopholes in our judicial system are not exploited & culprits get exemplary punishment,” Mehbooba tweeted. The Mirwaiz of Kashmir welcomed the verdict, hoping exemplary punishment against the guilty. “Welcome the court verdict on the kathua gang rape murder case. I hope that exemplary punishment is given to the culprits,” Mirwaiz wrote on his twitter. Former Director General of Police (DGP) Shesh Paul Vaid, Member of Parliament (MP) from Ghaziabad Vijay Kumar Singh who is also former Army chief also welcomed the verdict. V K Singh in a tweet said that the verdict give him a home that such brutalities won’t go unpunished. “Guilty from #Kathua rape-murder case are convicted-it gives me hope that such brutalities will not go unpunished. But it also makes me think of our collective consciousness as a society-why should Kathua or Aligarh happen? Need to educate our boys on how to treat & respect women,” Singh tweeted. Vaid said that law of the land prevails. “Law of the land prevails. Justice for Asifa. #Kathua,” S P Vaid tweeted. CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami also welcomed the verdict by the Pathankot court which convicted six out of seven accused in connection with the Kathua gang-rape and murder case of an 8-year-old nomadic girl. The gruesome gangrape and murder is crime committed by the enemies of humanity. Crime is a crime irrespective of criminal’s caste, colour and creed. Unfortunately, some fringe elements had tried to communalise this incident but due to intervention of judiciary, people of the state and the country they could not succeed.(KNO)