KathuaRapeVerdict: 6 accused including Temple Priest convicted, 1 acquitted

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Pathankot: Amid heightened security arrangements in Pathankot and Kathua, a special Court on Monday convicted six accused in Rape and Murder Case of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir.

The convicted include village head Sanji Ram, two special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma and Head constable Tilak Raj. A seventh accused, Vishal, who is the son of main accused Sanji Ram, was acquitted. The quantum of punishment will be announced later Monday.

The six accused have been convicted under at least three sections including Ranbir Penal Codes’ Sections 201 (pertaining to the disappearance of evidence) and 120-B (pertaining to criminal conspiracy).

The in-camera trial in the case that shook the nation ended on June 3.

According to the 15-page charge sheet, the eight-year-old girl, who was kidnapped on January 10 last year, was allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district after having been kept sedated for four days before she was bludgeoned to death.

The day-to-day trial commenced in the first week of June last year at the district and sessions court in Pathankot in neighbouring state of Punjab, about 100 km from Jammu and 30 km from Kathua, after the Supreme Court ordered that the case be shifted out of Jammu and Kashmir.

Those convicted are Sanji Ram, the village head, his juvenile nephew Anand Dutta and two special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma. Also convicted are Head Constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Sanji Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.

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