Court convicts six accused in Kathua rape and murder case; 1 acquitted

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The girl's adopted father - the brother of the child's biological mother - said life imprisonment to the accused was not enough and exemplary punishment should be given to them.

The suspect, a auto mechanic and a neighbour of the victim's family, allegedly lured the child into the toilet of a nearby school and raped her there. "We must salute the crime branch for conducting the investigations in a professional manner".

The three main convicts in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Kathua have been awarded life imprisonment.

The case saw straining of ties between PDP and BJP alliance government but as investigators in the case, Jalla said he "had received not a single call from any of the BJP leaders".

Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, former chief minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah tweeted, "Amen to that".

Shah Faesal said that politicization of this rape case was one of the most horrendous and shameful incidents of our time and those people who raised the communal bogey against the victim's family deserve to be condemned. Advocates say the majority of rape cases remain unreported. Trial of a juvenile will be held separately.

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The quantum of punishment will be pronounced at 2 p.m. The seventh man, named as Vishal, was found not guilty on Monday, Farooqi said, while the eighth, a juvenile, is now awaiting trial. However, the judgment is still being read out. The court moved the trial to the neighbouring state of Punjab.

Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also welcomed the court verdict. Another suspect will be tried in juvenile court.

Over 1,000 policemen and security personnel have been deployed in and around the Pathankot court, where the trial was shifted given the highly sensitive nature of the case.

The in-camera trial in the case ended on June 3, following which District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh announced that the verdict would be delivered on June 10. The situation will be monitored closely, they said.

The case involved the abduction, rape and murder of an eight-year-old child in Kathua, Jammu & Kashmir back in January 2018. "The Jammu and Kashmir government must go for appeal in higher court", she said.

The prosecution was represented by Special Public Prosecutor SS Bhasra and Public Prosecutor JC Chopra, among others.

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Three others - SI Anand Dutta, head constable Tilak Raj and special police officer Surender Verma - found guilty for destruction of evidence have been sentenced to five years in jail. Sanji Ram, Deepak and Parvesh Kumar were held guilty for kidnapping, rape and murder.

The Kathua rape and murder was one among many high-profile cases that prompted India to introduce a new law which mandated the death penalty to anyone convicted of raping a child under 12.

"Six of the accused have been found guilty and one has been acquitted".

"Our family has gone through hell".

Investigations suggested that the girl was targeted in order to strike fear in her nomad community and drive them out of the area.

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