Almost after one year of the criminal trial in the infamous Kathua rape and murder case, the Pathankot District Court today (June 10, 2019) convicted six accused who were facing charges in this case.
While three accused including Sanjhi Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh have been held guilty under section 302 (murder), 376D (gang rape) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), remaining three accused Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj and Surender Verma have been held guilty under section 201 (destruction of evidence) of the RPC. The seventh accused Vishal Jangotra has been acquitted from all charges.
The verdict was passed by District and Sessions JudgeTejwinder Singh, who had reserved judgment on June 3, 2019.
The case involved the abduction, rape and murder of an eight-year-old child in Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir in January 2018.
On January 17, 2018, the dead body of the victim was found in Kathua by the police, days after her father had reported her missing.
The allegations as per the police chargesheet were that the victim was kidnapped, sedated before she was raped, multiple times by several persons. The chargesheet claimed that the victim was kept in captivity for rape before she was bludgeoned to death. The allegations also included that the victim was used as a pawn to dislodge the Bakherwal Muslim (Gujjar- Bakherwal) nomads from Kathua area of Jammu region.
Following the case, controversy also erupted after several sections of the public came out in open support of the accused, decrying their arrest as an attempt to victimise Hindus.
The trial in the case initially commenced at Kathua in April last year. However, the volatile circumstances surrounding the case eventually prompted the Supreme Court to transfer the trial outside Jammu & Kashmir to the District and Sessions Court of Pathankot, Punjab.
The quantum of sentence will be pronounced at 2 pm today.