All eight accused, minus a juvenile, pleaded not guilty and volunteered to undergo narco analysis test as the trial in the shocking rape and murder case began at the District and Sessions Court in Jammu’s Kathua on Monday.The accused, led by retired government official Sanjhi Ram, made a verbal statement before the Principal Sessions Judge. Ram, his son, his juvenile nephew, the nephew’s friend and four policemen have been charged with kidnapping, drugging, raping and brutally killing in captivity the eight-year-old child in January. The juvenile’s trial will begin separately. After a heated exchange between the defence counsel and the prosecution, the judge said the accused be provided the complete chargesheet by Tuesday. The court will hear the case next on April 28. Elaborate security arrangements were made at the court to avoid the repeat of last week’s ruckus by lawyers, who tried to defend the accused. The accused were brought to the court and taken back to the district jail in tight security to avoid any law and order situation.The accused had kept the girl sedated and without food for four days, raping her repeatedly before finally battering her to death. Anger and shock have swept the country as chilling details of the crimes emerged last week. The chargesheet says the girl from the nomadic Muslim Bakarwal community was abducted on January 10 when she was grazing her horses near her one-room home in Jammu’s Kathua. She was held in a temple run by Ram. His son Vishal Jangotra, juvenile’s friend Parvesh Kumar, sub-inspector Anand Dutta, head constable Tilak Raj and two special police officers Deepak Khajuria, Surinder Kumar have also been charged. Jangotra travelled from Meerut to Jammu after a phone call from the juvenile who said he could come and satisfy his lust.The juvenile and Khajuria strangled the girl on January 14. The juvenile finally strangulated her to death. To ensure she is dead, he hit her head twice with a stone. Both delayed the murder to rape her one last time.The body was found In the forests on January 17. Dutta and Raj helped destroy evidence for bribes. Two BJP ministers quit the J&K government on Friday after backing the Kathua accused. A BJP MLA was also arrested on the same day in Lucknow for raping a minor whose father died after being thrashed by his men. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country was ashamed by the two cases and promised that no culprit will be spared.

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Kathua rape and murder: Accused plead not guilty, volunteer for narco tests