Kathua rape-murder accused plead not guilty, demand narco test


Kathua rape-murder accused plead not guilty, demand narco test

Amid the growing anger and protests over the gang rape and brutal murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua, the Women and Child Development Ministry said it would move a notice to amend the POCSO Act and bring in the death penalty for child rape. The victim's father had filed a plea with the court to transfer the case to Chandigarh.

On the other hand, the Jammu and Kashmir Helpers and Workers Association also held a protest march in Srinagar and demanded justice for the victim. The next date of hearing is April 28.

State counsel Shoeb Alam said that the victim's family was already being provided security.

According to a BJP leader, the march to Kootah has been organised to express solidarity with the families of the eight accused booked in the case. The apex court directed the next hearing on April 27.

The bench also directed that wide and continuous publicity be given to the statutory provisions of law regarding privacy of victims of sexual offences and punishment for revealing their identities. Prime Minister speaks about "Beti Bachao" even as such highly disturbing incidents are regularly happening in the country, she said. "We are not seeking transfer of investigation".

She referred to the affidavits of the local lawyer and the family friend to highlight the threats being faced by them in pursuing the case at the local court and cited an incident when policemen had to face protests while filing the charge sheet before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kathua.

Lawyers took to the streets shouting slogans and trying to block the road outside the court where the charge sheets have been filed.

The main opposition party National Conference had said that they will consider a civil disobedience movement against the government if they fail to take action against the "erring ministers". "DNA samples have been matched", the lawyer said, adding that she hailed the state police. The eight-year-old from a minority nomadic community had disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua in Jammu region on January 10. Subsequently, the Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir police on February 9 arrested Special Police Officer (SPO) Deepak Khajuria who had participated in the search parties and had also handed over her body to the family.