Majid Kapra

Kathua rape-murder case: Condemning protest by lawyers, NC demands shifting of trial

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Srinagar Apr 10: While condemning the protest by some lawyers who attempted to prevent the Crime Branch officials from filing charge-sheet in the Kathua rape-and-murder case, National Conference (NC) today demanded shifting the trial out of Kathua.

National Conference general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar told reporters in Srinagar that it is unheard of in the history of the country that white-collar professionals come out in support of those accused of a heinous crime.

“It is a part of a deep-rooted and well-thought-out conspiracy to polarise and communalise the state along religious and regional lines. We will be watching the situation and thwart any such designs,” he said.

“History bears testimony that Jammu and Kashmir witnessed such gruesome episode for the first time. Asifa was the daughter of everyone be it a Hindu, Muslim or a Sikh, my humble appeal to everyone is to help us defeat those who wants to paint this issue with communal color,” Sagar said.

“We demand the case be shifted out of Kathua to any other place where the trial can be held without any interference,” Sagar said, adding a fast-track court should be set up to ensure speedy justice to the victim.

Demanding strict action against those involved yesterday’s protest by lawyers, he lashed out at those who have called for a Jammu ‘bandh’ tomorrow, and urged the people of Jammu to defeat the nefarious designs of fringe elements.

“I hope that conscious people of Jammu will defeat the nefarious designs of those who want to divide the state on religious, lingual and regional basis,” Sagar added.

“We took up this issue in the assembly and CM herself assured that the guilty will be taken to task. Now it’s for the state government to prove as to how steadfast it will remain on the promises made on the floor of the assembly,” said NC leader.

Yesterday, a senior police official had said the Crime Branch has filed a charge-sheet against seven of the eight accused in the case, even as the Kathua bar association claimed the officials were compelled to leave the court premises without filing the charge-sheet amid protest by local lawyers.

The Kathua bar association was demanding CBI probe into the case.

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