Kathua rape and murder accused plead not guilty, next hearing on April 28

New Delhi: All eight accused in the rape and murder case of a minor nomadic girl pleaded not guilty on the opening day of the trial in the principal district and sessions court in Kathua on Monday which posted the next hearing in the case for April 28.
On the first day of the hearing day, the counsels of the eight accused advocates Ankur Sharma and Aseem Sawhney told judge Sanjeev Gupta that they were not provided with the detailed charge sheet which runs into 490 pages.
“Is that the hallmark of a fair trial?” Sawhney asked.
The judge asked state Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir police to give copies of charge sheet to accused while announcing the next date of hearing.
All the eight accused plead ‘not guilty’ and demanded narco tests. Main accused Sanji Ram told reporters that a narco test should be conducted to bring out the truth.
Sanji’s juvenile nephew’s bail application will be heard later during the day.
Other than Sanji Ram, his nephew and son Vishal Jangotra, the five other accused include special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surrender Kumar, sub inspector Anand Dutta and head constable Tilak Raj.
The little girl went missing on January 10 after she had gone out to look for the family’s horses. She was allegedly kidnapped, kept sedated and repeatedly gang raped before being killed on January 13. According to the charge sheet, her body was dumped in the jungle on January 15.
Her body was found on January 17 in Rassana area of Hiranagar in Kathua district.
The crime evoked shock and outrage across the country and claimed the scalps of two BJP ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government who addressed a rally in support of the accused.

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