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Lawyers Who Tried to Stop Chargesheet of Kathua Rape Murder Case in Court Booked

Amid high drama, Kathua lawyers on Monday had staged a protest and prevented the Crime Branch from filing charge-sheet against the seven accused in the gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old girl.

Mufti Islah | CNN-News18

Updated:April 13, 2018, 4:29 PM IST
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Lawyers Who Tried to Stop Chargesheet of Kathua Rape Murder Case in Court Booked
File photo of students and members of civil society hold placards during a protest against the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua. Jammu. (PTI)
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the lawyers of Kathua Bar Association for stalling the Crime Branch from filing the chargesheet against the accused in the gangrape and murder of a minor Bakerwal girl in state court.

The officials had to wait for nearly six hours to file chargesheet in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate of Kathua on Monday after the lawyers blocked the officials and raised slogans demanding case be shifted to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

DGP S P Vaid confirmed an FIR was registered in the case.

“An FIR has been registered against the lawyers of the Kathua bar association,'' he told local media.

Police sources said charges under Section 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty, 147 (rioting), 341 (wrongful restraint) of RPC have been filed.

Amid high drama, the lawyers on Monday had staged a protest and prevented the Crime Branch from filing charge-sheet against the seven accused in the gangrape and murder of eight-year-old girl.

The Crime Branch has established that the girl was raped in temple and murdered by a few residents of Rasana and adjoining village to force the Bakerwal community to flee from the area with the intention to divest them of their landholdings.

Four cops - SPO Deepak Khajuria, SPO Surinder Verma, sub-inspector Anand Dutta, head constable Tilak Raj and three others including the mastermind, a retired patwari, Sanji Ram, his son Vishal Kumar, and a juvenile have been arrested in the case.

Ram, a retired revenue officer, is the custodian of the Devasthan temple where the minor girl was held captive for a week and later strangled to death and her head was smashed on a boulder.

The investigators have found out Datta and Raj were involved in destroying crucial evidence about the crime. Raj, in particular, had washed the blood stained clothes of the rape victim to clean evidence just before they were sent for forensic examination.

The viscera report of the deceased has established she was sedated by a high dose of drug that kept her unconscious for most period of her captivity.

Meanwhile, the Kashmir valley reacted sharply to the lawyers protest in Kathua and expressed satisfaction over the lodging of the FIR.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah welcomed lodging of FIR against lawyers and said, “Good. Lawyers who have no respect for the law deserve to have the full weight of the law books crash down on them.”

Congress state president GM Mir terming the move as “politically motivated". Some social activists too held a protest in Srinagar demanding action.

Former vice-president of JNU Students’ Union, Shehla Rashid, said that some lawyers backed by the BJP tried to prevent the Crime Branch from filing a chargesheet against the accused.

"It is horrifying to see how blatant attempts to save the rapists are being made, first by cabinet ministers belonging to BJP, and then by lawyers backed by the BJP. Not only this, the lawyers who were preventing the Crime branch from filing a chargesheet were chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ to spread communal poison,” she said.

She said a united protest and sit-in would be held on Wednesday in Srinagar's Pratap Park.

"The purpose of the protest is to register our voice against the blatant attempts to subvert justice in this case, and to seek speedy justice for the victim'" she said.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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