Kathua rape-cum-murder accused plead not guilty, demand narco test

Shaken by Kathua and Unnao kids take the lead in Not In My Name protest

Even as the plea was to be taken up, the trial in the Kathua rape and murder case began at principal district and sessions court in Kathua. "The father of the victim has no problem with the police investigation", she said.

Indian Express quoted Sanji Ram, a former revenue official who is supposed to be the main conspirator in the case, as saying, "We all are ready to undergo narco test and none of us has any objection to it".

Addressing his supporters in Jammu before starting the Kathua march, Lal Singh, who is MLA from Basholi in Kathua, said people of his constituency are not happy with the investigations carried out by the J&K Police's Crime Branch, which has arrested all the eight accused, including a juvenile, in the case. It also withdrew its offer to contest the case of the accused free of cost.

The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud took note of the threats faced by the petitioner's lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat and one Talib Hussain, who was the link between the lawyer and victim's family. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Mishra said since there was no allegation in the matter, there was no reason for the court to enter into as to who should investigate the case. "And this is a government for the people and I see nothing wrong in standing with the people to find a solution to the ongoing crisis". She told the court that a charge-sheet has been filed and there was a possibility of a supplementary charge-sheet also being filed. The apex court directed the next hearing on April 27.

The name of the child, who was killed in Jammu and Kashmir state and has since become the focus of national protests over rape cases in India, was used by several media outlets before a court ordered a clampdown last Friday. The juvenile has filed a bail application before a judicial magistrate that will be heard on April 26, say reports.

"As far as we are concerned, we don't have any problem or objection to hand over the case to the CBI".

The victim, from the Bakerwal nomadic community, was kidnapped on January 12, held captive in a local temple in Kathua district for a week during which she was kept sedated and gangraped before being bludgeoned to death. "DNA samples have been matched", the lawyer said, adding that she hailed the state police.

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