Kathua case: next Court hearing reported to 28 April
The eight men accused in the Kathua gang rape had appeared in Court today. Kathua District Court declared that a copy of the charge-sheet shall be given to the culprits. The next hearing has been scheduled on 28 April.
The accused had not made any comments concerning their implication in the case but had assured that they were ready to undergo narco tests, said their lawyer, Ankur Sharma.
8 year old Asifa was abducted, sequestrated and raped for days, while she was sedated. To ensure neutrality, the Jammu-Kashmir government had appointed two Sikh public prosecutors to handle the over-sensitive case.
According to the charge-sheet, the kidnapping of Asifa was a part of a plan to drive out the nomadic Muslim community of Bakarwals from Hiranagar tehsil. The charge-sheet also made mention of Sanji Ram, in charge of Devisthan temple, where Asifa was raped and held captive, as the mastermind of the deed.
Sanji Ram, very influencial in the Jammu-Kashmir region, was joined by his friend Parvesh Kumar, special police officers Surender Verma and Deepak Khajuria, his nephew and his son Vishal Jangotra. The charge-sheet also mentioned Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta and head constable Tilak Raj who allegedly took a bribe of Rs 4 lakh from Sanji Ram to tamper with evidence.
The Bar Association of Kathua had also renounced providing free legal assistance to the accused in the Kathua case. Furthermore, the Bar outlined that the accusations are serious and therefore needed professional legal assistance.