The Pathankot court on Monday has sentenced life imprisonment to three main convicts in Kathua rape case, for raping and murdering an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's last year. Sanji Ram, Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar were found guilty under various sections of the RPC and were awarded the following sentences:
Section 302 (murder): Life imprisonment and penalty of Rs 1 lakh,
Section 120b (criminal conspiracy): Imprisonment for life plus fine of Rs 50,000, Section 376-D (gang rape): Rigorous imprisonment for 25 years plus Rs 50,000 fine, Section 328 (causing hurt by means of feeding poison): Rigorous imprisonment for 10 years plus Rs 50,000 fine, Section 363 (kidnapping): Rigorous imprisonment for seven years and a fine of Rs 50,000. Among these three, Parvesh Kumar was given a severe punishment under RPC section 376D/511 of rigorous imprisonment for 10 years plus Rs 25,000 fine.
JK Chopra, who is the public prosecutor in Kathua rape case said that we made sure that the three main accused have been sentenced to prison till their death. Sanji Ram was the chief priest of the temple where the crime took place and Special Police Officer Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar are said to be a friend of Ram's nephew (who himself is an accused in the case and claims to be a juvenile).
In addition, three others, Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, Head Constable Tilak Raj, and SPO Surender Verma, who were convicted for destruction of evidence under Section 201 of the RPC, were handed sentences of five-year imprisonment with a fine of Rs 50,000 each.
Last year, an eight-year-old girl was kidnapped on January 10 and the charge sheet said that she went missing while she was feeding her horses. She was later raped in a small village temple, by Ram, after having been kept sedated for four days, following a murder. The kidnap, rape, and murder of the child was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, the charge sheet said.