A special court in Pathankot Monday convicted six of the seven accused in the Kathua rape and murder case. The quantum of punishment is likely to be announced at 2 pm today.
The judgment comes after an in-camera trial in the case was completed on June 3. Following the Supreme Court directions, the trial was conducted on a day-to-day basis and saw examination of 114 witnesses in a year by both the prosecution and defence counsels.
Here’s the timeline of Kathua rape and murder case
January 10, 2018: An eight-year-old girl belonging to nomadic community went missing in a village in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir’s while out grazing cattle.
January 12, 2018: An FIR was registered on the complaint of victim’s father.
January 17, 2018: Body of the girl was found. Post mortem confirmed gangrape and murder.
January 22, 2018: Case was handed over to Jammu and Kashmir crime branch.
February 16, 2018: A right-wing group, Hindu Ekta Manch, held protests in support of one of the accused.
March 1, 2018: Two ministers of the BJP, part of the state’s ruling coalition with the PDP, Chander Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh, attended a rally organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch after the arrest of the nephew of a caretaker of a temple in connection with the kidnapping and rape.
April 9, 2018: Police filed the chargesheet before a Kathua court against seven of the eight accused.
April 10, 2018: Chargesheet filed against the eighth accused who had claimed to be a juvenile. The police filed an FIR against lawyers for protesting and attempting to prevent the crime branch officials from filing the charge sheet in the court on April 9.
April 14, 2018: BJP ministers who attended the Hindu Ekta Manch rally resigned from the state Cabinet.
April 16, 2018: Trial begins before the Principal Sessions Court judge, Kathua. All accused pleaded ‘not guilty’.
May 7, 2018: The Supreme Court shifts case from Kathua to Pathankot in Punjab after the victim’s father approached the apex court saying that he apprehended threat to his family and counsel’s life in Jammu. The apex court directs the trial to be fast-tracked and held in-camera, away from media.
June 3, 2019: Trial concludes after year-long proceedings with over 100 witnesses being examined.
June 6, 2019: Six of the seven accused- former revenue official Sanji Ram, Special Police Officers Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, two investigating officers – head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, Parvesh Kumar-were convicted by the special court in Pathankot. One accused, Vishal was acquitted by the court.
Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar were convicted under Ranbir Penal Code sections and sentenced to life imprisonment. The trio was fined Rs 1 lakh each for murder along with 25 years in jail for gangrape.
Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj and Surender Verma — who were convicted for destruction of evidence, were handed over five years imprisonment.
(With inputs from PTI)
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