Accused in Kathua rape-murder case produced in Pathankot court

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Pathankot, May 31 (KNB): Amid a thick security blanket thrown in around the four-storey Pathankot judicial court complex eight persons arrested in the case were produced before the district and sessions judge here in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court.
The case, involving the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl from a nomadic community in Kathua district in January, was transferred by the Supreme Court from Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot. The apex court, had on May 7, also directed day-to-day in-camera trial in the case.



Talking to Kashmir News Bureau (KNB), Advocate Talib Hussain one of Kathua rape victim Asifa Bano’s lawyer said the next would be on 4th of June.
The court had asked the district and sessions judge at Pathankot to personally undertake the trial proceedings and not assign it to other session judges, stating that it would monitor the progress of trial in the case and no other courts should entertain any other plea related to the matter.
The trial in the case will be held according to the provisions of Ranbir Penal Code, which is applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pathankot Bar Association president Reshpaul Thakur said this was for the first time such a high-profile case was to be heard in the court.
The Punjab authorities have made elaborate security arrangements to ensure smooth trial in the case.
A large number of policemen, including women personnel, have been deployed within and outside the court complex. The main entrance of the complex has been blocked for vehicles, including those belonging to the staffers, who were asked to park their vehicles in an adjacent complex. CCTV vans were also deployed in the court premises to keep an eye on trouble makers.
According to the 15-page charge sheet, the eight-year-old girl, who was kidnapped on January 10 this year, was allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district. She was kept sedated for four days before being bludgeoned to death. (KNB)