The trial in the gruesome Kathua rape and murder case began on Monday against eight accused. All the accused have pleaded not guilty and asked the district and session judge for narco test. The court has directed that charge sheet copies should be provided to all accused. The next date of hearing is fixed at April 28. The Juvenile arrested in Kathua case has moved bail application before the judicial magistrate which is scheduled to be heard later today.”Everything will be clear after Narco test,” said one of the accused after hearing at the district court.Daughter of Sanji Ram, one of the accused in the case, has alleged a conspiracy and said: “This is not a case of rape, but this is murder and we demand a CBI investigation in the case”. The accused allegedly held an eight-year-old girl in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January this year during which she was allegedly kept sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death. The Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, for the trial in the sensitive case, a move being seen as made to ensure “neutrality” in view of Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case.The trial is expected to go smoothly after the Jammu Bar association as well as the Kathua Bar received a rap on the knuckles by the Supreme Court on April 13 as the apex court took a strong note of some lawyers obstructing the judicial process in the case.The father of the girl brutally gang-raped and murdered in Kathua has approached the Supreme Court seeking the transfer of the case outside Jammu and Kashmir.The father of the victim has sought safety and security even as the trial began in Kathua today. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the plea at pm today. Apart from the father’s plea, another petition was filed by family’s woman lawyer. In her plea, lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, representing victim’s family, alleges threat to her life in pursuing the case in Kathua court.
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