Kathua rape, murder case LIVE UPDATES: Supreme Court issues notice to J&K govt on transfer plea

Kathua rape-murder case LIVE UPDATES: The Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, to ensure “neutrality” in the sensitive case. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 16, 2018 3:43:07 pm
Kathua rape-murder case LIVE UPDATES: Trial begins today, J-K govt appoints two Sikh SPP for hearing Kathua rape case LIVE updates: The father of the 8-year-old girl, who was gangraped and killed, in Udhampur. (Express Photo Shuaib Masoodi)

Hearing began in the Kathua gangrape and murder case today, in which eight accused including a juvenile stand trial. They were held for allegedly gangraping and murdering an 8-year-old girl in January. The girl, belonging to the Bakherwal community, was held captive in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week during which she was sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death.

In view of the Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case, the Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, to ensure “neutrality” in the sensitive case. The trial is expected to go smoothly after the Supreme Court on April 13 took strong note of the attempt by a group of lawyers in Kathua obstructing the judicial process in the case and sought explanations from the Bar Council of India, Jammu and Kashmir Bar Council, Jammu High Court Bar Association and Kathua District Bar Association.

The incident has drawn huge criticism and anger from across the country with people demanding justice for the minor. Two state BJP ministers– who had participated in a rally in support of the accused– have resigned and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has forwarded their letters to Governor NN Vohra for acceptance.

Live Blog

Follow Kathua rape-murder case trial LIVE UPDATES below:

Highlights

15:43 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
Jammu Bar Association suspends strike

After the rap from Supreme Court, the Jammu High Court Bar Association (JHCBA) has suspended its 12-day long agitation and resumed work today. 

15:39 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
SC orders protection for victim family's lawyers

The Supreme Court also ordered the J&K government to provide security to the victim family’s lawyers Deepika Rajawat and Talib Hussain. 

15:35 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
'Atmosphere highly polarised'

Indira Jaising, appearing for the victim's father, told the Supreme Court: "The atmosphere is not conducive for a fair trial. The atmosphere is highly polarised."

15:22 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
JUST IN

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to Jammu and Kashmir government seeking a reply on the plea filed by the victim's father. He had earlier sought transfer of the case from Jammu to Chandigarh. 

12:07 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
SC bench to hear plea at 2pm

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud will hear the plea to transfer the case outside Kathua at 2pm today.  READ MORE

11:29 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
Juvenile move bail plea

Juvenile arrested in Kathua rape and murder case moves bail application before judicial magistrate. It will be heard later today.

11:26 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
Accused kin demand CBI probe

Daughter of one of the eight accused men alleges conspiracy, demands CBI probe.  

11:14 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
Accused ready for narco test

The accused were produced before the chief judicial magistrate. After pleading not guilty, they demanded narco tests to be conducted on them. "Court directed that chargesheet copies should be provided to all accused, we are ready for narco tests. Next date of hearing is April 28,"  Ankur Sharma, counsel for the accused, told ANI.While leaving the district court, one of the eight accused said: "Everything will be clear after Narco test."

11:10 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
Accused counsel says court proceedings will be short

The accused lawyer claimed the court's proceedings will be short today despite the media hype.  He said he expects the prosecution to open its case from the next date of hearing. He added that the prosecution has to explain why they filed an incomplete challan. On the victim's lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, he claimed she doesn't represent the victim's family in this case as the State leads the prosecution. 

'It is a falsehood that is being pedalled. The lady is not a lawyer. the state leads the prosecution. She has not been appointed as special VP,' he said. When asked about the purported threat to her life, he said, 'as far as I understand no threats have been made to the lawyer.' Rajawat said she fears for her safety and has been labelled as 'anti-Hindu'.  

10:51 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
Plea seeks transfer of case

Supreme Court to hear plea seeking transfer of the case to Chandigarh from Jammu at 2 pm today.  The plea was moved by the eight year old's father.  He also appealed to the court to provide his family with security. 

10:41 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
Open letter to PM Modi

A group of 49 retired bureaucrats reportedly wrote a scathing open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua. "The bestiality and the barbarity involved in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old child shows the depths of depravity that we have sunk into. In post-Independence India, this is our darkest hour and we find the response of our Government, the leaders of our political parties inadequate and feeble".

10:25 (IST) 16 Apr 2018

Counsel for accused constable Tilak Raj alleged that the full chargesheet copy has not been provided to them. "We are depending on information from social media.We are handicapped," he told ANI.

10:01 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
Kathua gangrape vicitm's lawyer to approach Supreme Court

Kathua gangrape victim's lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat said she has been labelled as anti-Hindu and being socially boycotted.  She said should would approach the Supreme Court to seek security for her and family members.  READ MORE

09:58 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
Kathua gangrape-murder hearing
09:21 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
NC leader expelled

On Friday, the National Conference expelled one of its leaders for being part of the Hindu Ektra Manch. Shanti Swaroop, NC’s Hiranagar block president, claimed that the party was yet to inform him about the expulsion. “But even if they have expelled me, I don’t mind. I am a Hindu first, then part of any party. It is my responsibility to fight injustice done to Hindus. This is why I became part of Hindu Ekta Manch,’’ he told The Indian Express. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said once Swaroop’s involvement came to notice, the party leadership expelled him without even serving a notice to explain.

08:59 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
Meet Tablib Hussain: the face of the agitation demanding justice

Talib Hussain, a 29-year-old lawyer-activist, had become the face of the agitation seeking justice for the girl. He was arrested and allegedly intimidated by the local police to stop protests. Hussain, who belongs to the Bakerwal community, studied till class 4 in the same village as the victim. He moved to Delhi to train as a lawyer after completing his LLB. Hussain says he organised the first protest against the gangrape and murder of the eight-year-old on January 17 in Hiranagar. “By then we had already started suspecting that the local police were trying to cover up the case,’’ he said. READ MORE 

08:39 (IST) 16 Apr 2018
Kathua rape victim's lawyer fears for her life

Kathua rape victim's lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat on Sunday said she fears for her life as she may get raped or murdered. "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," Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat told ANI.

Mother of the eight-year-old Bakerwal girl. (Source: Express Photo By Shuaib Masoodi) Two or three days before the girl went missing, her mother said she was in the kitchen playing with flour when her brother clicked a photo -- the same that has been shared multiple times across social media. “He was teasing her, saying, ‘When our mother is not around, our sister is old enough to take care of us’.” The thought of her girl alone now, in a graveyard, haunts her, she adds. “They did not let us bury her in our graveyard. We had to take her 7 km away… We left in fear, leaving everything behind. They threatened us and said our homes will be razed and there would be nothing to return to. I only hope they don’t do that to her grave.”

Share your thoughts