Verdict in Kathua case likely by June 10
A court in Punjab’s Pathankot is expected to pronounce its verdict in the January 2018 rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua by June 10, the prosecution said on Tuesday.
The prosecution on Tuesday concluded its arguments in the case, which the Supreme Court shifted to Punjab in May 2018 after the girl’s family and lawyer said they faced death threats.
Harminder Singh, the chief prosecuting officer of Jammu and Kashmir police’s crime branch, said the defence began its arguments on Tuesday following the conclusion of its case by the prosecution. “Let us hope the court verdict comes out before summer vacations from June 15, probably by June 10.”
According to the charge sheet filed in the case, the eight-year-old nomadic Muslim girl was strangled and killed with a stone a week after she was drugged, held in captivity and raped repeatedly in a temple.
The top court shifted the trial to Punjab over two months after a complete shutdown was observed in Kathua on March 3, 2018, as people took to the streets demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the rape and murder.
Two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers, Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, in the then People’s Democratic Party-led alliance government in J&K, too, joined the protests under the banner of the Hindu Ekta Manch. The two ministers were forced to resign two months before the government fell in June when the BJP withdrew its support to the