In a case that has stirred national conscience, the child from a minority nomadic community was allegedly held in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a 7-day in January this year during which she was sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death. The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Jammu & Kashmir government to provide security to the victim's family.
Lawyer Deepika Rajawat, who represented the family in the case, spoke to Zafar Abbas for the Millennium Post about the rape and murder of the little 8-year-old girl in J&K's Kathua district and probable consequences.
There have been reports that you have been threatened by fellow lawyers of the state to drop the case?
Yes, they are pressurizing me to drop the case. I have been threatened on 4th April and then I received a threat on 14 April of which I have a record. A lawyer said to me that you will not be spared for what you have done. The reason why we visited the Apex court is security for me and victim's family and to ensure fair trial of the case.
Why do you oppose the case being transfered to CBI, after all the agency is well equipped to handle such cases?
Do you know who murdered Arushi? It's still a question, which the agency was handling that case. How can I let this child's case go in CBI's hand? Even her parents are satisfied with the investigation that has been done by crime branch so far. They too don't want their daughters case to become another Arushi. I think that crime branch has done a commendable job. Even senior lawyer Indira Jaisingh feels the investigation has been meticulous.
There have been several protests in favour of the accused. How do you see that?
I would just say that those defending the accused should actually do so in the court, not on the streets creating mess. They should work on completing their homework and fight the case in court.
Why do you feel that for fair trial the case should move out of the state to Chandigarh?
You know how the crime branch team was prevented to file the charegsheet within the state, we have seen politicians inciting people in the state, how can we expect fair trial there. They would create unnecessary harassment to the family. If the case is transferred outside J&K I think the victim's family would not feel safer.