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Kathua rape and murder: 3 convicts including mastermind sentenced to life imprisonment, cops get 5 years jail

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Srinagar: A court in Pathankot Punjab has sentenced three of the six convicts including mastermind Sanji Ram and a policeman to life imprisonment in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.
Three of the accused, Sanji Ram (mastermind), Deepak Khujuria (policeman) and Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu were earlier convicted for both rape and murder while as many policemen–Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj and Surinder Kumar (SPO) were held guilty for destruction of evidence. Vishal, son of main accused Sanji Ram, has been acquitted. The three policemen have been sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Elaborate security arrangements were made in and around the court and in Kathua in view of the pronouncement of the judgment, reports quoting official said. The situation will be monitored closely by the officials, they said.
The day-to-day in-camera trial began in the first week of June last year at the district and session court in Pathankot after the Supreme Court directed that the case be shifted out of J&K after lawyers in Kathua had prevented crime branch officials from filing the charge sheet in the case.
The trial was assigned to the district and sessions court in Pathankot by the Supreme Court after the victim’s family approached with a plea to transfer the case from Kathua.
The eight-year-old girl, belonging to a nomadic tribe, was allegedly kidnapped on January 10 and her body was found on January 17 last year. It is alleged that she was gang-raped and later murdered. The crime branch has arrested eight people, including a juvenile in the case.

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