Responding to attempts by some lawyers and a Hindu group to obstruct the investigation and prosecution of the gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir.
On January 17, the body of a minor girl was found in the forests near Rasana, Hiranagar. The girl had been missing for a week. According to police, she had been abducted and raped by an SPO Deepak Khajuria, who was a part of the team sent out to find her when she was missing.
Nine accused, including the alleged mastermind Sanji Ram – an ex-bureaucrat – and his son Vishal Kumar, a police head constable, two SPOs and a sub-inspector of police, have been arrested in the case.
Zahoor Wani, senior campaigner, Amnesty International India said that “it is disgraceful that some lawyers and members of the BJP are trying to introduce religious prejudice into the investigation of this horrific crime, and block its investigation.
“The fact that the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court actually had to order police protection for the lawyer of the victim’s parents shows how deep the bigotry around this case runs,” he said in a statement.
The Bar Association of Kathua has opposed the arrest of suspects in the case. On April 11, lawyers in Kathua staged a protest and attempted to prevent the police from filing a charge sheet in the case.