The father of the eight-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir last year on Wednesday moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking enhanced punishment for the convicts, PTI reported. He also challenged the acquittal of one accused in the case.

A trial court in Pathankot had on June 10 sentenced three convicts in the case – Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar – to life imprisonment. The petition has sought the death penalty for them. While Sanji Ram was the mastermind of the crime and the caretaker of the temple where the child was raped, Deepak Khajuria was a police officer and Parvesh Kumar a civilian.

The trial court had also sentenced sub inspector Anand Dutta, head constable Tilak Raj and special police officer Surender Verma to five years each in jail. Accused Vishal Jangotra has been acquitted.

“It is rarest of the rare case and as per the standards set by the Supreme Court, that case of rape and murder by a gang of a minor child comes under this category more so when the manner of committing crime exhibits complete insensitivity, cruelty, depravity and perversion,” the petition read.

“We have also appealed against the wrongful acquittal of Vishal Jangotra in the case,” the petitioner’s counsel said.

Sanji Ram had on July 6 appealed against his conviction in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The court had admitted the plea. On July 1, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had admitted the appeals of four convicts in the gangrape and murder case.