Kathua rape-n-murder:SC says no to CBI probe, protection to witnesses
New Delhi, May 16: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to give protection to witnesses of Kathua rape case. The apex court has fixed the matter for further hearing to May 17. The court has also refused to take the case from Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch and had it over to any other investigating agency. Three witnesses in the Kathua gangrape and murder case alleged that they are being harassed by the Jammu and Kashmir police and sought for protection from the Supreme Court. According to their plea, they had already recorded their statements before the police and the magistrate. The witnesses had in their statement before the magistrate said they gave their statement to the police under coercion. In their petition, they had alleged that the state police was asking them to re-appear and re-record their statements and exerting pressure on their families. The Supreme Court had on May 7 transferred the trial in the Kathua gangrape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl from Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab, but refrained from handing over the investigation to CBI saying there was no need as the investigation has been conducted and the chargesheet filed. The eight-year-old girl, from a minority nomadic community, had disappeared from near her home in a village close to Kathua in the Jammu region on January 10. Her body was found in the same area a week later. The state police has filed the main chargesheet against seven people and a separate chargesheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district.