The Juvenile Justice Board, Kathua, directed the Crime Branch to produce prosecution witnesses in the rape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old nomad girl of Rasana as the trial began Monday.
On the first day of trial before the Board, the Crime Branch produced the accused. The Board has framed charges against the accused and it directed the Crime Branch to produce the prosecution evidence and witnesses.
According to the Crime Branch, the accused ‘juvenile’ along with seven other accused had kidnapped the eight-year-old nomad girl in January 2018, tortured her during her captivity, and subsequently strangulated her to death. Even as the accused was produced before the Board, the Crime Branch failed to produce prosecution witnesses.
The court/Board directed the Crime Branch to produce the witnesses on July 29, the next date of hearing.
Meanwhile, the Crime Branch moved an application before the JJB Kathua praying that the hearing in the case may be deferred citing that it has filed a petition challenging the age of the accused as juvenile before the J&K High Court. The CB pleaded that the age of the accused was yet to be determined in the High Court.
However, the JJB declined to defer the case and directed the Crime Branch to produce witnesses on the next date of hearing.
Pertinently, the accused was the first person who was arrested by the Hiranagar police when nomads started protest demonstration in the wake of the incident.
It may be recalled that a special court in Pathankot last month had sentenced three men including a temple caretaker to life imprisonment in the case and convicted three others for the ghastly crime awarding them 5 year jail term. The court had acquitted one accused in the case.