The trial of the infamous Kathua rape and murder case, which started on May 30 last year, is inching towards its conclusion and the verdict is likely to be pronounced on June 10. The trial continued for almost a year in the Pathankot court, after it was transferred to Punjab from Jammu and Kashmir on the orders of the Supreme Court.
The evidence in the case was closed by the court on May 27, while the trial for the case was heard in-camera on a day-to-day basis.
This case shook the collective conscience of the nation wherein an 8-year old girl from nomadic Bakherwal tribe was reported kidnapped near Rasana village in January 2018. A week later, her body was found in the nearby forests. According to the charge sheet filed, the girl was kidnapped by the main accused Sanji Ram’s nephew and was raped. Allegedly She was kept inside a temple where she was sedated and raped multiple times before being murdered.
The case witnessed various twists and turns as the lawyer, who shot to fame overnight after she took on the case, was removed by the victim’s family for attending only 2 hearings out of a total of 110. Later, some reports emerged that student leader and activist from JNU Shehla Rashid had raised around 40 lakh rupees in the name of supporting the victim’s family. Reportedly, the money was not handed over to the family and they were forced to sell their livestock to pay for their travel expenses to Pathankot.
Some reports also suggested the money donated in the bank account jointly owned by the victim’s father was siphoned off by some unidentified people. The victim’s father had alleged that more than 10 lakh rupees were withdrawn from the account and the family was left with 35,000 rupees only.