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J&K govt appoints two Sikh prosecutors in Kathua rape and murder case

Press Trust of India  |  Jammu 

The and Kashmir today appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, for the trial in the sensitive rape and murder case to ensure focussed attention and speedy conduct in the matter, a senior said.

The crime which probed the alleged rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl belonging to the nomadic Muslim Bakerwal community had filed a main charge sheet against seven accused persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in district earlier this week.

The hereby appoint S Bhopinder Singh, Chief Prosecuting Officer, Crime Branch, and Harinder Singh, Chief Prosecuting Officer, as Special Public Prosecutors to conduct the case titles State Verus Sanji Ram and others and another title (involving the juvenile) in the case pending disposal before principal sessions judge/ court of chief judicial magistrate, Kathua, said in an order issued here today.

"This was done to ensure speedy conduct and ensure focussed attention to the case," a senior said.

J&K Police DGP S P Vaid had written to the in this regard by recommending two officers as SPPs to conduct the case.

"We wanted two officers to pursue the case from police department as others may take the case casually," another said.

Asked whether two Sikh officers were engaged as SPPs to ensure "neutrality" in view of Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case, DGP Vaid said "please do not think on religious lines. It has not been done. Police does not think in terms of Hindu or Muslim or Sikh".

The body of the girl, from the Bakerwal community, was recovered from on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses.

On January 23, the government had handed over the case to the crime of the which formed a Special Investigation Team and arrested eight people including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a head constable, who was charged with destruction of evidence.

The Bar Association of (BAJ) has demanded a CBI probe into the case.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 22:25 IST