Kathua rape and murder: The horrendous rape and murder of an 8-year old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district has taken the nation by storm. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said her government will not allow law to be obstructed and justice will be delivered in the rape and murder case of the Bakerwal girl. She said that proper procedures are being followed, investigations are on fast track and justice will be delivered. In Kathua, the eight-year-old was allegedly gangraped by six men who had held her in captivity in a small temple village for a week in January. She was drugged so that she could be sexually assaulted again before being bludgeoned to death. The body of the nomad Bakherwal community girl was recovered from Rassana forest on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area.
Here are the top developments in the spine-chilling rape and murder case in Kathua:
1. The Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police filed two separate charge sheets against the eight accused persons including a juvenile held in the case. According to investigators, the girl was held captive inside a ‘Devisthan’, gangraped, kept without food and administered sedatives. Her cause of death was asphyxia leading to cardio-pulmonary arrest, the investigations revealed.
2. The two separate chargesheets filed said the minute examination of the crime scene led to the recovery of various items including blood-stained wooden sticks and hair strand which were seized, packed and sealed by the magistrate.
3.The crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police, which probed the brutal rape-and-murder has secured statements of 22 witnesses before a judicial magistrate. A senior police official said today that the statements had been recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code before a magistrate in which they gave details of the conspiracy hatched by Sanjhi Ram and others.
4. The rape-and-murder of the nomadic Muslim Bakerwal community girl stirred a controversy after lawyers in Jammu called for a shutdown on Wednesday and demanded that the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The angry Jammu Bar Association called for a bandh in the city on Wednesday in protest against what they have termed as the selective targeting of a minority community in the state.
5. The accused in the brutal rape and killing of the girl have been identified as 60-year-old Sanjhi Ram, his son Vishal, special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, head constable Tilak Raj, sub-inspector Anand Dutta, civilian Parvesh Kumar, and Sanjhi Ram’s minor nephew.
6. The abduction, rape and killing of the eight year old girl, was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority community from the area, reveals a 15-page charge sheet filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s crime branch in the chief judicial magistrate’s court on Monday.
7. Union minister V K Singh today said “we as humans” have failed the eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community who was gang-raped and killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district but she would not be denied justice. Singh is the first minister from the Centre to react to the incident.
8. Several celebrities have also demanded swift action against the perpetrators in the Kathua rape case. Javed Akhtar, Abhishek Bachchan, Swara Bhasker, Hansal Mehta and Sonam Kapoor took to social media to condemn the brutal incident of rape of the eight-year-old girl.
9. National Conference leader Omar Abdullah lashed out at chief minister Mehbooba Mufti for not taking any action against two BJP ministers who had attended a rally held in support of the persons accused in the case. He demanded the arrest of both the BJP MLAs.
10. The lawyer of the Kathua rape victim’s family has alleged that the Jammu Bar Association President has threatened her. Deepika S Rajawat, the lawyer, said that the Jammu Bar Association President BS Salathia met her at Jammu and Kashmir High Court, threatened her and asked her not to appear in the court.