Supreme Court asks J&K to protect victim's family, others

Protestors block the Jammu Pathankot highway in Kathua during the Jammu Bandh on Wednesday

Protestors block the Jammu Pathankot highway in Kathua during the Jammu Bandh on Wednesday

The top court's order comes on a day when the District Court in Kathua began the trial in the gruesome gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim minor in the town near Jammu earlier in January this year.

"Be that as it may, we do not intend to enter into this sphere (transfer of case to CBI) at this stage", a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said, while taking note of the submission that the victim's father was satisfied with the police probe so far. The court also issued notice to the state on a petition filed by the victim's father that says the atmosphere in Jammu is highly polarised for a fair trial and the accused must be tried in Chandigarh.

The Court also directed that adequate security be provided to the victim's family, lawyer Deepika S Rajawat and advocate Talib Hussain, who is assisting in the matter.

The government has also assured that those who are involved in the case won't be spared.

Senior counsel Indira Jaising, appealing for the victim's father, expressed satisfaction with the investigation and told the court that they wanted transfer of the trail so that it could be a fair one.

It said that it will only hear the persons related to the case. "It is critical that justice is given to the child", she said.

The minor girl had disappeared from near her home in the forests in Kathua, on January 10. A chargesheet have been filed in the court of chief judicial magistrate, Kathua, state of Jammu and Kashmir. Her body was found in the same area a week later. The bar associations have been opposing the action against the accused, alleging that the minority Dogras were being targeted.

Adv Ashok Arora told KNS that the blocking of challan by the lawyers in Kathua amounts to contempt. "Authorities should take action against those lawyers who tried to prevent Crime Branch from filing the charge sheet", former Secretary SC Bar Association told KNS.

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