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Kathua rape-murder case: Charge-sheet submitted against 7 accused amid lawyers protest

JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch on Monday presented in the court of Kathua’s Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) a charge-sheet against seven people accused of raping and murdering an eight-year old Asifa Bano, a ‘Bakerwal’ (Nomadic) girl.

Some lawyers protested and prevented the crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir police at the time of filing the charge-sheet, leading to a chaotic situation, police sources said. Later reinforcement had to be called to the spot to tackle the situation.

“The seven accused are 60-year-old Sanji Ram, Special Police Officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, Head Constable Tilak Raj, civilian Parvesh Kumar and Sanji’s minor son Vishala,” police said.

The charge-sheet against the juvenile was separately presented.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday reprimanded the irate lawyers at a court in Kathua and tweeted, “Shame on them & their political masters. An 8 year old girl is raped & murdered and these so called lawyers do not want to see justice delivered,” tweeted Omar Abdullah.

The Bakherwal girl, from a nomad Muslim community was allegedly kidnapped, sedated and raped for several days at a temple before she was murdered. The body was recovered from Rassana forest in Kathua district on January 17, a week after the gruesome the killing.

The incident shocked the entire state and triggered communal tension and protests from both communities. After a public outcry, investigations of the case were transferred from local police to the Crime Branch.

–IANS inputs

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