Six of the seven accused in the Kathua rape and muder case of 2018 were convicted on Monday. The acquitted seventh was given the “benefit of the doubt”
A special court in Pathankot, Punjab convicted six of the seven accused for the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir in 2018.
Three were given life sentences, three were awarded 5 years in prison, and 1 was acquitted by the special court on Monday.
The main brain behind the heinous offence, retired govt. official and Hindu priest Sanji Ram, his nephew Parvesh Kumar, and special police officer Deepak Khajuria were sentenced for life.
They were convicted under IPC Section 120B (criminal conspiracy), Section 201 (destroying evidence), Section 302 (murder), Section 328 (poisoning), Section 343 (wrongful confinement), Section 363 (kidnapping), and Section 376/D (gang rape).
District and Sessions Judge, Tejwinder Singh also announced a fine of ₹1 lakh each for the sentenced three.
The judge also announced “an imprisonment of five years and a fine of ₹50,000” for Surender Verma, Tilak Raj and Anand Dutta, convicted under Section 201 (destroying evidence).
Acquitted Vishal Jangotra is the son of Sanji Ram. Mubeen Farooqi, fighting for the victim’s family, said Jangotra was given the “benefit of the doubt”.
The court asserted that the State Crime Branch had only produced witnesses and “not enough evidence” in Jangotra’s case.
According to the original charge sheet, there were eight accomplices in the Kathua rape and murder case, including a juvenile.
Trial against the juvenile will start after his pending age determination petition is heard by the Jammu and Kashmir High court.