Kathua rape and murder: Court frames charges against 7 accused

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Pathankot: The district and sessions court here on Thursday framed charges against seven of the eight accused in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The seven accused against whom the court has framed the charges are former revenue official Sanji Ram, special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, Parvesh Kumar and Ram’s son Vishal Jangotra. Two investigating officers, head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, have also been accused of destroying crucial evidence in the case. The eighth accused in the case who is the nephew of Ram is a juvenile.

The trial of the case began in the Pathankot court on May 31 after the hearing of the case was shifted outside Jammu and Kashmir following the order of the Supreme Court. On Wednesday, the defence counsels concluded their arguments on charges during the seventh hearing of the case.

The apex court had ordered day-to-day in-camera trial of the accused while transferring the case outside Jammu and Kashmir following the plea of the victim’s family.

In the 15-page charge sheet, the Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir said the girl belonging to a minority nomadic community was kidnapped on January 10 this year and allegedly raped in captivity inside a small village temple in Kathua district. She was kept sedated for four days and later bludgeoned to death.

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