New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea by witnesses in the case relating to the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir. The witnesses approached the apex court alleging custodial torture by the police.
The eight-year-old girl from the nomadic Bakerwal Muslim community had disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua in the Jammu region on 10 January. Her body was found in the same area a week later.
People across the country expressed outrage at the incident in which the girl was raped by six men who held her captive in a village temple for a week. The chargesheet filed by the police says the girl was drugged and repeatedly raped, before being bludgeoned to death.
A special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe the incident has arrested eight suspects, including two special police officers and a head constable who have been charged with destroying evidence.
On 7 May, the Supreme Court transferred the trial of the accused in the case from Kathua to Pathankot in Punjab. This followed a plea by the victim’s father, who moved the top court citing the charged and hostile environment in the state and seeking a fair trial that ensured witness protection.
The case will be heard on 16 May.