Kathua rape case: Life imprisonment for 3 convicts, 5 year jail for 3 cops
Pathankot, June 10: Three of the six convicts have been sentenced to life term for kiling of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua in January last year.
Three accomplices -- Sub Inspector Anand Dutta, Head Constable Tilak Raj and special police officer Surender Verma -- who were convicted for destruction of evidence have been handed over five years imprisonment.
Sanji Ram, the caretaker of the temple where the crime took place, Special Police Officer Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar, a civilian, have been convicted under Ranbir Penal Code sections pertaining to criminal conspiracy, murder, kidnapping, gangrape, destruction of evidence, drugging the victim and common intention. They have been sentenced to life imprisonment and fined Rs 1 lakh each for murder along with 25 years in jail for gangrape.
Only Sanjhi Ram's son Vishal has been speared. Vishal is said to have been giving an exam in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut district and was able to produce alibi for the same.
The case - involving the kidnapping, rape and murder of the victim last January - had triggered allegations of a spike in crimes across the country.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made in and around the court and in Kathua in view of the pronouncement of the judgement.
According to the 15-page charge sheet, the eight-year-old girl, who was kidnapped on January 10 last year, was allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district after having been kept sedated for four days before she was bludgeoned to death.
The victim's body was found mutilated in a forested area on January 17. Three days later, one of the accused - reportedly a juvenile - was arrested by police. The trial in his case is yet to begin because a petition on determining his age is yet to be heard by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
The case had become a bone of contention between the then ruling alliance partners PDP and the BJP after two ministers of the saffron party, Chowdhury Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, participated in a rally organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch in support of the accused arrested by the state crime branch.