The Supreme Court on Monday transferred the trial in the murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir to Punjab’s Pathankot, Bar and Bench reported. The top court, however, ruled out an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation, based on the probe by the state police.
The girl’s family had filed a petition to get the trial moved from Kathua, while the accused wanted a CBI inquiry.
The Supreme Court ordered day-to-day hearing in the case that are held in-camera. It allowed the Jammu and Kashmir government to appoint a public prosecutor in Pathankot court and asked the government to provide security to the victim’s family, their lawyer and witnesses.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the decision to shift the trial to Pathankot would boost the morale of the state police, which had left “no stone unturned” to help the girl’s family get justice.
The girl’s father also welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision. “We only want justice,” he told PTI. “I have full faith in the judiciary and the government.”
The girl was allegedly raped and then murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district in January. The girl was found dead on January 17, a week after she went missing in a village. The accused allegedly lured the girl to a secluded place on the pretext of helping her find her missing horses, and then took her to a temple.
The chargesheet filed by the Crime Branch said she had been held captive at the temple, drugged, raped repeatedly and then strangled.