The Supreme Court on Thursday (May 17) directed the Jammu and Kashmir police to interrogate the Kathua gangrape cases witnesses, three of whom had alleged torture by the cops, from a 'visible distance'. The apex court has also ordered the state police to question the witnesses in presence of their families.
On May 14, three college friends of a key accused in the sensational Kathua gangrape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl moved the Supreme Court alleging torture and sought protection from a central agency.
Yesterday (May 16), the Centre told the Supreme Court that attempts are being made to impede the probe. The state, meanwhile, sought time from the apex court to respond to the allegations of torture against the Jammu and Kashmir police.
Lawyer Ravi Sharma, representing students Sahil Sharma, Sachin Sharma and Neeraj Sharma, sought urgent hearing on the plea alleging that they and their families were being coerced by the Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir police. The Jammu-based students, who are pursuing B.Sc in Agriculture at a college in Muzzafar Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, are classmates of Vishal Jangotra, a key accused in the case, the plea said.
Earlier, the apex court had transferred the trial in the sensational Kathua gangrape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl from Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab, but had refrained from handing over the probe to CBI saying there was no need as the investigation has been conducted and the charge sheet filed.
The apex court, which ordered day-to-day "in-camera" trial in the case, had said there was a need to shift the trial outside the state as "fear and fair trial" were contradictory and "cannot be allowed to co-exist." The victim, belonging to a minority nomadic community, had disappeared from near her home in a village close to Kathua in the Jammu region on January 10. Her body was found in the same area a week later. The state police has filed the main charge sheet against seven persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs