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June 11, 2019 |

Kathua rape and murder verdict

Six persons were convicted on Monday in the infamous rape and murder of Kathua girl, with three main accused sentenced to life imprisonment while three others sentenced five years of imprisonment for destroying evidence. The court verdict on the notorious case that more than a year ago led to communal strife in the state, was hailed yesterday by various sections including activists and political leaders. On January 10, 2018, the eight-year-old girl from the minority community (Gujjar, Bakerwal) went missing and his father lodged a missing report two days later at Hiranagar Police Station. A week later the body of the victim was found in a nearby forest with signs of torture and abuse. After the recovery of the body, the police constituted an investigation team. On January 22, the case was handed over to Crime Branch. During the course of the investigation eight people were arrested including four police officers. Soon after the arrests protests erupted in Jammu region with allegations and counter allegations on giving the gruesome crime communal color. Nonetheless, the gravity of the horrendous crime didn’t drop and even UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called it a 'horrific' incident. The legal battle for justice for the Kathua girl, although it has taken months, has not been in vain. The verdict has been well received and the concerns related to the heinous crime further demands the attention of the concerned. On 21 April 2018, the central government passed an ordinance to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to grant death penalty for the rape of children under the age of 12. It was not applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Three days later, on 24 April 2018, J&K Cabinet approved similar punishment for child rape convicts. The Cabinet approved two ordinances —Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law Ordinance, 2018, and Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018 — seeking to amend the Ranbir Penal Code and Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. Now that the verdict has been declared in this case, it needs to emulated in other similar cases.  Recently there was hue and cry over an alleged rape case. Proper investigation, speedy trial beside general awareness about POCSO Act is very much needed to repose faith on judiciary and justice. It is hoped that all such cases receive same degree of attention and seriousness to administer the justice, as justice delayed is justice denied.       

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June 11, 2019 |

Kathua rape and murder verdict

              

Six persons were convicted on Monday in the infamous rape and murder of Kathua girl, with three main accused sentenced to life imprisonment while three others sentenced five years of imprisonment for destroying evidence. The court verdict on the notorious case that more than a year ago led to communal strife in the state, was hailed yesterday by various sections including activists and political leaders. On January 10, 2018, the eight-year-old girl from the minority community (Gujjar, Bakerwal) went missing and his father lodged a missing report two days later at Hiranagar Police Station. A week later the body of the victim was found in a nearby forest with signs of torture and abuse. After the recovery of the body, the police constituted an investigation team. On January 22, the case was handed over to Crime Branch. During the course of the investigation eight people were arrested including four police officers. Soon after the arrests protests erupted in Jammu region with allegations and counter allegations on giving the gruesome crime communal color. Nonetheless, the gravity of the horrendous crime didn’t drop and even UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called it a 'horrific' incident. The legal battle for justice for the Kathua girl, although it has taken months, has not been in vain. The verdict has been well received and the concerns related to the heinous crime further demands the attention of the concerned. On 21 April 2018, the central government passed an ordinance to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to grant death penalty for the rape of children under the age of 12. It was not applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Three days later, on 24 April 2018, J&K Cabinet approved similar punishment for child rape convicts. The Cabinet approved two ordinances —Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law Ordinance, 2018, and Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018 — seeking to amend the Ranbir Penal Code and Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. Now that the verdict has been declared in this case, it needs to emulated in other similar cases.  Recently there was hue and cry over an alleged rape case. Proper investigation, speedy trial beside general awareness about POCSO Act is very much needed to repose faith on judiciary and justice. It is hoped that all such cases receive same degree of attention and seriousness to administer the justice, as justice delayed is justice denied.       

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