The gang rape and brutal murder of an eight-year-old girl in the Rasana village in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, brought the entire nation together in protest. As the demand for justice for the little one gets louder, the trial in the gruesome rape case began Monday, April 16.
The eight-year-old girl from the Bakarwal tribe was abducted and sedated January, locked inside a temple and raped for almost a week. She was then strangulated and her head hit with a stone twice leading to her death.
Five people — Sanji Ram, the 60-year-old retired revenue official, who hatched the plan, the 19-year-old who is his nephew, the boy's friend Parvesh Kumar, Ram's son Vishal Jangotra, and special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar — have been named in the case. Ram, the 19-year-old boy, Parvesh, and Jangotra have now reportedly been arrested.
Quick updates on the trial
- The trial in the Kathua rape case began today and the next hearing is scheduled April 28.
- The family of the victim has said that the trial must be shifted out of Jammu and Kashmir. They believe that if the case is heard in J&K, they will never be able to get a fair trial. The Supreme Court will take up the plea at 2 pm today.
- The family of the little girl wants the case to be moved to Chandigarh. Senior Counsel Indira Jaising will appear on behalf of the victim's family.
- The 19-year-old, also suspected to be a juvenile, has also filed a bail application that will be heard today.
- The other accused have pleaded "not guilty" and are now demanded a narco-analysis.
- The daughter of Ram has said that there is some conspiracy against her father and has demanded a CBI probe.
- One of the accused's lawyer earlier said that the charge sheet had not been made available to them and they were relying on social media for updates. "After the case was called and all accused appeared, I filed my Wakalatnama. I asked for a copy of chargesheet. There is 490-page copy and I did not receive any copy. Is this a hallmark of a fair trial?" he questioned.
- The court has now directed that the charge sheet be made available to all the parties in the case.
- The case is now also being compared to that of Nirbhaya, who was gangraped in a moving bus in 2012 and died of injuries a few days later. Her mother too spoke of the incident and told ANI that such crimes were becoming rampant in the country as the judicial system moves at a glacial pace.
- The victim's relatives have now accused the media of ignoring Kathua rape for three months, reported IANS.
- Lawyer Deepika Rajawat, who is representing the victim's family has said that there is a threat to her life and is even being called "anti-Hindu."
- "Today, I don't know, I am not in my senses. I can be raped, I can be killed and may be they won't allow me to practice in court. They (have) isolated me, I don't know how I can survive," the Indian Express quoted Rajawat as saying.
- In January, retired revenue official Sanji Ram hatches a plan to drive away the Bakarwal tribe from the Rasana area in Kathua.
- He discusses the matter with his nephew and provoked him to take revenge on the tribe, who had earlier assaulted him.
- The nephew agrees to kidnap the little girl and shares his plans with his friend Parvesh Kumar.
- The two then buy local substances to sedate the girl.
- Ram and his nephew then abduct the girl and take her to a nearby forest where she is sedated and raped by the nephew, a minor.
- They then lock her in a temple. The nephew then calls Ram's son Vishal Jangotra in Meerut and asks him if he wants to rape her.
- Her family files a police complaint and the hunt for the eight-year-old begins
- Vishal reaches Rasana. He and the nephew rape the girl. The little girl was raped multiple times, even by police officer Deepak Khajuria.
- She is then strangulated and the nephew hits her head with a stone twice. Her body is then dumped in the jungle.
- Her body is found by a local January 17.