Kathua minor rape verdict: Blow to communalism, criminality

Kashmir Magazine

The Pathankot special trial court’s long awaited judgment on Kathua minor rape case pronounced early this months is a big victory for family of the victim an eight year old Bakerwal girl Asifa gang raped and murdered last year by a group of seven people who had hatched a criminal conspiracy to carry out a deadly unpardonable crime to drive out a particular community from a hindu dominated area of Kathua district in Jammu province. So the verdict is a victory of the victim and stunning defeat to communalists and criminals. Undoubtedly the judgment of the fast-track court that convicted six accused for the rape and murder of Kathua minor girl last year vindicates the points of investigation put on record in the charge sheet by the Crime Branch of the Jammu & Kashmir police and an eye opener for the politicians who persistently raised the demand for inquiry into this minor gang rape case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) .




The politicians raising the demand for CBI inquiry should draw lessons from the judgment which by all means is virtually an endorsement of the crime branch probe report. The judgment shows that writ of the justice delivery system has prevailed in Jammu & Kashmir as it was Supreme Court of India which very rightly shifted the trial of the case from Kathua in Jammu to Pathankot in Punjab. The Supreme Court’s timely intervention conveyed a strong message to communalists and criminals involved in this heinous crime that the legal system will stand by the truth and justice will be delivered irrespective of the intensifying polarization tendencies of different political parties in the state.



Even the politicians who persistently raised the demand for handing over the investigation of the case to the central bureau of investigation (CBI) may find no point to dispute the fact that the special Investigation Team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police headed by a local non muslim promising Kashmiri police officer of SSP rank too did a commendable job by conducting a thoroughly professional investigation and presented a detailed charge-sheet to the court in short time. As the media reports suggested that local police had been bribed by one of the convicts to tamper with evidence; and wash the victim’s clothes to destroy material evidence, the investigation had become a huge challenge for the investigation team of the Crime Branch of the state police. Since Crime Branch on the grounds of its investigation now endorsed by the special court judgment reserves the right to appeal against the acquittal of one of the accused and file a plea for enhancement of punishment to six accused convicted by the special Pathankot trial court, the road to plea for capital punishment to convicts and stay on acquittal of one of the accused does not end here for the Crime Branch .The bigger point of satisfaction for both the prosecution and as well as the victim’s family is that criminal liability has been established and a life term imprisonment has been awarded to the convicts.