Trial over in Kathua rape-murder case, judgement on June 10

The trial in the infamous Kathua gang rape and murder of a minor girl ended on Monday after detailed final arguments were advanced by the concerned advocates in the case.

A court official said that detailed arguments were advanced by Advocate Ankur Sharma, Advocate Vikram and Chandan on behalf of accused Parvesh Kumar regarding the rape and murder of the eight-year-old nomadic girl.

He said that today was the last day of trial and the judgment would be pronounced on June 10 at 10:00 am.

In first week of January 2018, the eight-year-old girl was kidnapped then drugged and finally raped and murdered in Rasana area of Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir.

The victim was kept captive inside a temple for over 15 days and finally murdered after her captivators raped her.

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 Jammu and Kashmir after lawyers in Kathua had prevented crime branch officials from filing the chargesheet in the case.

A political turmoil was witnessed in the Jammu region last January after the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s crime branch took over the case and arrested eight people, including a juvenile and two police officials who were accused of destruction of evidence.

The case became a bone of contention between then ruling alliance partners PDP and BJP. The BJP had to sack two of its ministers, Chowdhury Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, for participating in a rally of Hindu Ekta Manch in support of those arrested by the crime branch in the case.

The crime branch arrested village head Sanji Ram, his son Vishal, juvenile nephew and his friend Anand Dutta, and two special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma. Head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Sanji Ram and destroyed crucial evidence, were also arrested by the crime branch.

Charges of rape and murder were framed by the district and sessions judge against seven out of the eight accused. The trial against the juvenile is yet to begin as his petition regarding his age is to be heard by the Jammu and Kashmir high court. (With PTI inputs)