The judgment in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be delivered on June 10, nearly a year after the trial began in a court in Pathankot, special public prosecutor J K Chopra said Monday.
The day-to-day in-camera trial began in the first week of June last year at the district and sessions court in Pathankot after the Supreme Court directed that the case be shifted out of Jammu and Kashmir.
The apex court move came after lawyers in Kathua prevented Crime Branch officials from filing a charge sheet in the case, which shocked the nation with the details of the brutality.
According to the 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 abduction, rape and killing of the child was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, the 15-page charge sheet said.
The Crime Branch arrested village head Sanji Ram, his son Vishal, juvenile nephew and his friend Anand Dutta, and two special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma. Head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Sanji Ram and destroyed crucial evidence, were also arrested.
Charges of rape and murder were framed by the district and sessions judge against seven out of the eight accused. The trial against the juvenile is yet to begin as his petition on his age is to be heard by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.