Kathua rape: Jammu Bar Association faces flak

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has written to the chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court with a request to set up a special fast track court for the Kathua rape case

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has written to the chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court with a request to set up a special fast track court for the Kathua rape case

The top court also directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to provide security to the family of the eight-year-old Kathua gangrape and murder victim, the lawyer and a family friend, assisting them in pursuing the case.

Meanwhile, reports said that the Court has also sought J&K govt's reply on plea to shift the trial out of the state.

The rape and murder of the eight-year-old sparked statewide protests - and counter protests by the Hindu Ekta Manch against the arrest of the accused - with several groups demanding an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

This comes as the trial in the case began in the rape and murder case on Monday.

The Crime Branch of police which probed the case filed a main charge sheet against seven persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district. At the outset, the victim's counsel Indira Jaising, who mentioned the matter for an urgent hearing in the forenoon, said the "biological father" of the victim had no grievance with regard to the police probe. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the state police to provide adequate security at the observation home where a juvenile accused has been kept and fixed the next date of hearing on April 27. "We are handicapped", he said. During the hearing, the victim's father expressed satisfaction with the probe so far, conducted by Jammu and Kashmir Police and opposed the plea for CBI investigation demanded by others. The court directed that chargesheet copies should be provided to all accused, and posted the case to April 28, Ankur Sharma, counsel for accused, said. After being missing for a week, her body was found on January 17. The accused kept sedating the girl for days and took turns to sexually assault her. The accused are set to be ready for narco tests as well.

The father, in his plea, had sought to transfer the case outside Jammu and Kashmir.

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