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2-min read

Pak-Origin Peer Raises Kathua Rape Case in UK Parliament, Gets Fitting Reply

In her response on behalf of the British government, Baroness Stedman-Scott said India has a strong democratic framework which guarantees human rights.

PTI

Updated:April 17, 2018, 8:52 AM IST
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Pak-Origin Peer Raises Kathua Rape Case in UK Parliament, Gets Fitting Reply
Lord Ahmed, a member of the British Upper House, is a staunch critic of the Indian government. (File photo/Reuters)

London: The rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir was on Monday raised in the House of Lords by a Pakistani-origin peer, who called on the UK government to intervene to bring perpetrators of “human rights abuses in the region to justice”.

Pakistani-origin peer Lord Ahmed, a staunch critic of the Indian government, raised the issue in the Upper House of the UK Parliament.

In her response on behalf of the British government, Baroness Stedman-Scott said India has a strong democratic framework which guarantees human rights.

"But we do acknowledge it does face numerous challenges relating to its size and development when it comes to enforcing fundamental rights enshrined in its Constitution," she said.

"These cases (of rape and murder) are nothing short of horrific and we extend our condolences to the families of the victims. Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has been clear that justice will be done," she added.

The eight people accused of raping and killing the eight-year-old pleaded not guilty on Monday and asked the judge for a narco analysis test. Seven of the eight accused were produced before District and Sessions Judge Sanjay Gupta in Jammu, who asked the state Crime Branch to give them copies of the chargesheet and fixed April 28 as the next date of hearing.

The eighth accused is a juvenile who moved a bail application before the chief judicial magistrate. The matter was posted for April 26.

The child from a minority nomadic community was allegedly held in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January this year during which she was kept sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death.

According to the chargesheets filed by the Crime Branch, the abduction, rape and killing of the girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the nomadic community from the area. A separate chargesheet was filed for the juvenile.

Sanji Ram, the caretaker of the 'devisthan' in a village in Kathua, about 90 km from Jammu, is listed as the main conspirator behind the crime. He was allegedly joined by special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, Ram's nephew, a juvenile, and his son Vishal Jangotra alias "Shamma".

The chargesheet also names investigating officers head constable Tilak Raj and Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.

(With PTI inputs)

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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