Kashmir lawyers protest against supporters of Kathua rape accused

Lula Sharp
April 17, 2018

The Court then issued notice to the State on the issue of transfer of trial, while directing the State to provide protection to victim's family, lawyer Deepika Rajawat and advocate Talib Hussain.

They also sought adequate security arrangements for the families of the victims, and state support for arranging a competent prosecution team.

"I am not scared, but I am not feeling safe either".

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, she said, "I will not break my anshan (fast) until the Prime Minister does not (promise) the country a better system for the safety of our daughters". An 8-year-old girl was allegedly drugged, tortured and gang-raped in a village temple for a week in the Kathua district in January.

"Investigation is nearly complete".

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She referred to the affidavits of the local lawyer and the family friend to highlight the threats being faced by them in pursuing the case at the local court and cited an incident when policemen had to face protests while filing the charge sheet before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kathua. The next hearing on the plea to transfer case will be on April 27. A large number of people assembled on the road leading to the court, blocked it and held protests against a section of national media accusing it of "portraying" the demand for a CBI probe as pro-rapists and pro-culprits, thereby damaging the reputation of the entire village. "The girl also identified both of them", police officer Rama Shankar Singh said.

Jammu lawyer Deepika Rajawat who has been relentlessly fighting pressure from the protesting lawyers to give up Asifa's case feels that things may get hard when the attention from the case is lost. A separate chargesheet was filed for the juvenile. "Before having a Swachh Bharat, we want a safe Bharat". I am the father. Every accused has been identified.

He added the victim, has not yet been identified and that police from Gujarat's neighbouring states have been asked to help trace her family.

The Supreme Court on 13 April had slammed the lawyers, who obstructed the justice system and observed that such impediment "affects the dispensation of justice and would amount to obstruction of access to justice". The crime branch submitted two charge sheets against eight people including a juvenile for allegedly raping and murdering the girl in January this year. "Next date of hearing is April 28", says Ankur Sharma, counsel for accused.

A student of Bluebells International School spoke about how the concept of childhood being safe had been turned upside down by the Kathua rape case: "The fact that she, as a child, was brutally raped is appalling".

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