SC orders security to Kathua victim’s family, her lawyer

RSTV Bureau

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has directed the Jammu & Kashmir government to provide security to the family of the eight-year-old Kathua gangrape and murder victim, the lawyer representing the victim in the trial court and a family friend assisting them in pursuing the case.

The apex court’s order came this afternoon while hearing two separate petitions in the horrific gang rape and murder case of a 8-year-old girl in Kathua.

One petition is filed by Kathua-based lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, representing the family of the victim, who has alleged that she was facing threat to her life for pursuing the matter. The other petition is filed be a Delhi-based lawyer Anuja Kapur, who is seeking a CBI probe.

The apex court also took note of a plea of the victim’s father seeking transfer of the trial of the case from Kathua, preferably to Chandigarh and sought response of the state government.

However, during the hearing, the victim’s father expressed satisfaction with the probe so far, which is conducted by Jammu and Kashmir Police’s crime branch. He also opposed the other plea demanding CBI investigation in the case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud asked the state police to provide adequate security at the observation home where a juvenile accused has been kept and fixed the next date of hearing on April 27.

The bench said those policemen providing security to the victim’s family and others will be in plain clothes, after being sought by the senior advocate Indira Jaisingh, who is representing the family and victim’s lawyer.

The minor girl had disappeared from near her home in the forests in Kathua, on January 10. Her body was found in the same area a week later.

The Crime Branch of police which probed the case filed a main charge sheet, detailing gory details of the crime, against seven persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district.

The case has attracted massive outrage across the country with citizens and students holding protest demanding justice for the 8-year-old victim.

(With inputs from PTI)