Kathua gang rape: Victim's father seeks transfer of case from J&K

Prime accused Sanji Ram and other accused of Kathua rape and murder case, being produced in district court in Kathua. Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 16, 2018, 03.46 PM (IST)

The Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) government on a petition filed by Kathua rape victim's father seeking transfer of the case to Chandigarh.

The victim's lawyer Indira Jaysingh said circumstances in J&K do not allow for a fair trial, therefore the case should be transferred out of the state. 

Jaysingh said: "The atmosphere is not conducive for a fair trial. It is highly polarised."

Supreme Court also directed the J&K government to provide police protection to victim's family members and the counsel representing them.

Indira Jaising told the Supreme Court that the state police had done a good job and arrested all the accused persons on scientific evidence.

The next hearing on of the case is slated on April 27.

Meanwhile, the eight accused who allegedly gang raped the 8-year-old girl pleaded "not guilty" before the court today.

The defence said the accused were ready to undergo a narco test. 

While seven accused were presented before the district and sessions judge, the eighth is a juvenile who moved a bail application before a judicial magistrate. 

The alleged gangrape and murder of the girl, who belonged to the nomadic Muslim community, took place in the Kathua district in January. After being missing for a week, her body was found on January 17. 

The incident has touched off a national debate in the country with several people from civil society including those in government, media and film personalities condemning the gangrape and killing of the 8-year-old who belonged to a nomadic Muslim community.