Juvenile accused presented before court; next hearing on May 7

Kathua: The juvenile held in connection with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in the Kathua rape and murder case was presented before a court amid heavy security here today.
Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) A S Langeh asked the juvenile whether he had received copies of the charge sheet from the crime branch, to which he replied in the affirmative, officials said.
Later the Judge posted the next date of hearing in the case on May 7, they said.
The CJM court had yesterday dismissed the bail plea of the accused juvenile.
The counsel for the accused had moved the court for his bail soon after the crime branch had filed its charge sheet against him and seven other adults allegedly involved in the rape and murder case. The juvenile accused had sought the bail on the ground of his age.
According to the Crime Branch charge sheet, the juvenile had allegedly played a key role in the crime. The other accused arrested in the case include local resident Sanji Ram, his son Vishal Sharma, and two special police officers.
A sub-inspector and a head constable too have been apprehended on charges of destroying crucial evidence in the case to save the culprits. The body of the girl was recovered from a forest on January 17, a week after she had gone missing while grazing horses in the forest area.
The Jammu and Kashmir government had handed over the case to the crime branch, which had formed a special investigation team to probe the rape-cum-murder.
The crime branch subsequently filed two separate charge sheets in the case – one against the seven adult accused on April 9 and the second against the juvenile accused on April 10.
Though the crime branch has filed a separate charge-sheet against the juvenile accused, it had claimed in its earlier charge-sheet for adult accused that a medical examination had found to be an adult of around 19 years of age.
The court, however, rejected the claim.