Kathua rape: Life imprisonment for 3 accused, victim’s lawyer disappointed

The Pathankot court has pronounced life imprisonment of 25 years to Sanji Ram, Parvesh Kumar and Deepak Khajuria in the Kathua rape and murder case. 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.

Farooqi Khan, lawyer of victim’s father told India Today, “We are little disappointed. We had demanded for capital punishment… Maybe, we’re planning for that (challenging the verdict).”

Six men have been found guilty of an eight-year-old girl’s gang-rape, torture and killing in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua in January last year.

Former government officer Sanji Ram, who was believed to be the mastermind, was among those convicted by a special fast-track court in Pathankot. His son is the only one let off, over lack of evidence.

Besides Sanji Ram, the others convicted in the case are, his friend Parvesh Kumar, two special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, Head Constable Tilak Raj and Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta. They were accused of destroying evidence.

The girl, who belonged to a Muslim nomadic tribe, was kidnapped on January 10 last year and held captive at a village temple in Kathua. She was drugged, starved and repeatedly raped for days. Finally, she was strangled and her head was bashed in with a rock. One of the accused allegedly begged to rape her one last time before she was killed.

The Kathua rape shocked and disturbed the entire country and led to street protests calling for justice for the child.

Two BJP leaders in Jammu Chowdhury Lal Singh and Prakash Ganga – participated in a rally organised in support of the accused last year.

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