People attend a protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl, in Kathua, near Jammu and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in New Delhi, India April 15, 2018.
Jammu: All the eight accused in the Kathua rape and murder case were produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Kathua as the trial started on Monday.
Under heightened security the eight, including Sanji Ram, the alleged mastermind of the heinous crime, were produced before CJM Kathua, AS Langeh, who then postponed the hearing in the matter for April 28.
The father of the eight-year-old victim has already moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of the trial to outside Jammu nad Kashmir, preferably Chandigarh.
The apex court will hear the matter at 2 p.m.
Relatives of the victim present outside the Kathua court accused the media of ignoring extensive reportage of this heinous crime for nearly three months.
The victim was abducted on January 10 and held captive inside a temple in Rasana village of Hiranagar area.
She was drugged and raped repeatedly before being murdered. Her body was found dumped in the adjoining forest area on January 17.
The family had trouble even burying the body as some locals disallowed burial accusing the family of trying to occupy land in the name of a graveyard.
Father of the victim has told the media the body was finally buried in far away forest lands.
The case led to massive condemnation and country-wide protests all over India and had even caught the attention of the UN chief.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had asked Indian authorities to ensure that the perpetrators of the “horrific” gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua be brought to justice.
His Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Friday that he has seen reports about the “horrific case” of the abuse and murder of the nomadic Bakerwal community girl.
“We very much hope that the authorities will bring the perpetrators to justice so they can be held accountable for the murder of this young girl,” he said.
The minor was allegedly kidnapped on January 10, and taken to a temple in Kathua, drugged and gang raped over days and finally killed to scare the nomadic Muslim community out of the village. Her body was found dumped in a forest near Rasana village seven days later.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday condemned the rape and gave an assurance that justice would be done.
Eight people, including four police personnel — a head constable, a sub-inspector and two special police officers — have been arrested in the case and charges filed against seven of them.
Some lawyers and others tried to block the filing of the charges and meetings were held in support of those arrested in connection with the case.
On Friday two Bharatiya Janata Party ministers, Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, who attended a rally in support of the Kathua accused in March, resigned from the Jammu and Kashmir government led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.