The trial court verdict found three men guilty of the horrific gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, which took place last year. 

It is also a triumph for the justice system, as the Pathankot district and sessions court has lived up to the faith reposed in it by the Supreme Court last year, when the case was transferred from J&K to Punjab for a fair trial. The apex court had taken note of the hindrances to a fair trial in the jurisdictional court, especially the hostile atmosphere against the prosecution.

Support given to guilty
The formation of a group called the Hindu Ekta Manch in support of those arrested and the role played by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, including two Ministers in the then J&K government, had whipped up communal frenzy. It is commendable that the Crime Branch of the J&K Police and the prosecutors have brought home the guilt of Sanji Ram, Parvesh Kumar and Deepak Khajuria, who have been sentenced to life for murder and 25 years in prison for gang-rape. Further, the role of some police personnel in trying to destroy evidence has also been exposed. Sub Inspector Anand Dutta, Special Police Officer Surender Verma and Head Constable Tilak Raj get a five-year term for washing some blood-stained clothes, concealing the victim’s necklace and hair band, and misleading the investigating police team about the place of occurrence of the crime.