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 was adjourned to allow for this routine procedure, and a further hearing has been set for April 28.
The eight-year-old girl belonging to Muslim Bakarwal community was allegedly raped by six men who had held her in captivity in a small temple village for a week in January. The PIL filed by the victim's lawyer, seeks the transfer of case outside the J&K to Delhi. The case will be heard next on April 27.
Immediately after the brief hearing in the sessions court, the seven accused were shifted back to jail under heavy security.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, for the trial, a move being seen as made to ensure "neutrality" in view of Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case. She also reiterated the stand that "it is not for the United Kingdom to prescribe a solution or act as a mediator...it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting and peaceful resolution, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people". The accused also asked the judge asked the judge to order a narco analysis test. Meanwhile, the trial in the Kathua gangrape and murder case began today in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Jammu and Kashmir. "This is the kind of investigation that they want to derail", Jaising said.
According to the chargesheets filed by the crime branch, the abduction, rape and killing of the girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the nomadic community from the area.
The judge asked the state Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Police to give copies of charge sheet to accused while announcing the next date of hearing. All the accused persons were brought before the court which directed that chargesheet copies be provided to each of them. The accused kept sedating the girl for days and took turns to sexually assault her.
However, in a fast development, during the medical examination of the victim, it was found that she was not a minor when the rape took place in June, 2017.
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