Kathura rape case: It’s a fight for her daughter too, says Lawyer

Apr 15 2018 09:38 AM
Kathura rape case: It’s a fight for her daughter too, says Lawyer

Rajawat, an advocate in Jammu, took up the case of the 8-year-old Bakarwal girl who was raped and murdered in January. Within days of her decision, even as many from the Bar took to the streets — some brandishing sticks — and shouted slogans against the state government, asking that the case be transferred from the J&K police’s crime branch to the CBI, she began getting threats to stay away. On the desk in a small room of her house in Jammu, there is a framed photograph of a chubby, smiling girl. “That is my daughter,” Deepika Singh Rajawat said. “She is five years old and her name is Ashtami. I am fighting this case also for her.” 

Showing the copy of a letter she received from the Jammu & Kashmir High Court on Saturday that asks the in-charge of the security wing of the court to provide her protection during her appearances, she said, “But when I confronted the senior advocate and told him that I can fight any case I want, I was told there are ways to stop me. But this letter from the high court gives me strength even though there is a corner in my heart that is a little afraid. These are powerful people.”

Asked if she is confident she will win as the crime branch, which is probing the rape-murder, has lost precious forensic evidence (the girl’s body was allegedly bathed and her clothes washed soon after she was found), she said, “It’s really messed up. The first few days after the crime was detected, some dreadful things happened. The local police station did not file an FIR. That happened only after 2-3 days. On January 17, her body was found. Then the ‘clean-up’ began. It was being hushed up. The policeman who did this is one of the eight accused.”

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