A special court in Pathankot on Monday awarded life imprisonment to three of the six convicts in the rape-and-murder case of an eight-year-old nomadic girl in Kathua of Jammu and Kashmir. The remaining three accused, all police personnel, were sentenced to five years imprisonment. The seventh accused, Vishal, was acquitted by the court.
Sanji Ram, the caretaker of the temple where the crime took place, Special Police Officer Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar, a civilian, were convicted under Ranbir Penal Code sections pertaining to criminal conspiracy, murder, kidnapping, gangrape, destruction of evidence, drugging the victim and common intention. “They were sentenced to life imprisonment and fined Rs 1 lakh each for murder. They were also sentenced to 25 years in jail for gangrape”, lawyers said. Three accomplices — Sub Inspector Anand Dutta, Head Constable Tilak Raj and special police officer Surender Verma — who were convicted for destruction of evidence, were handed over five years imprisonment.
It is notable that the eight-year-old girl was kidnapped on January 10, 2018. She was allegedly raped in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district. Later on, she was bludgeoned to death. The incident led to outrage across the country in January last year.