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Kathua rape and murder:Pathankot court frames charges against seven accused

New Delhi, June 7: The Pathankot district and sessions court on Thursday framed charges against seven of the eight accused of raping and murdering an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district early this year.
The eight accused in the case are former revenue official Sanji Ram, Special Police Officers Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, Parvesh Kumar, Ram’s son Vishal Jangotra and a juvenile, who is nephew of Ram. Two investigating officers, Head Constable Tilak Raj and Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, have also been accused of destroying crucial evidence in the case.
On Wednesday, the defence counsels concluded their arguments on charges during the seventh hearing of the case. The trial in the Pathankot court began on May 31 after the Supreme Court shifted the hearing outside Jammu and Kashmir. The case was transferred following a plea by the victim’s family.
While transferring the case, the top court had directed day-to-day in-camera trial of the accused.
According to the 15-page charge sheet of the Jammu and Kashmir’s Crime Branch, the girl from a minority nomadic community was kidnapped on January 10 this year and allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district. She was kept sedated for four days before being bludgeoned to death.