Pathankot: The verdict is finally out in the brutal rape and murder case of a minor in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, in January 2018 that had created a nationwide uproar.
Here are the key takeaways of the Kathua verdict:
1. Three main convicts, including retired government employee Sanji Ram, have been awarded life imprisonment. The other two are Parvesh Kumar and Deepak Khajuria. They will be spending 25 years behind bars.
2. Three others, such as Surendra Verma, Anand Dutta and Tilak Raj, have been sentenced to five years in jail. Two of them were cops and were charged with damaging evidence and furnishing false information.
3. In all seven were accused in the case. But one of them was a juvenile and action against him is awaited pending a Punjab and Haryana High Court ruling.
4. Earlier in the day, a court in Pathankot had convicted the six accused in the case.
5. As per the police charge-sheet, the eight-year-old, a nomad, was kidnapped in January last year and raped at an isolated place in Kathua district after she was sedated. She was later brutally killed.
6. The case had taken political overtones after BJP leaders apparently came out in support of the accused.
7. One theory goes that residents wanted to keep the nomads away from the place and therefore the accused resorted to such a dastardly act to caution them.
8. As the matter had snowballed into a major controversy, the Supreme Court had to intervene and transfer the case out of Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab.
9. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, who was the chief minister when the case broke out, welcomed the court’s judgment. She said no politics should be done over a heinous crime where a child was drugged and raped repeatedly and then bludgeoned to death.