Conviction In Kathua Rape Case Will Act As Deterrent, Says Mayawati

Conviction In Kathua Rape Case Will Act As Deterrent, Says Mayawati

Conviction In Kathua Rape Case Will Act As Deterrent, Says Mayawati

Bano was grazing her family's ponies in the forests of the Himalayan foothills when she was kidnapped. Her body was later discovered in a nearby forest.

Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) president and former minister, Ghulam Hassan Mir on Monday welcomed the verdict of the special court at Pathankot.

Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir - Six men have been convicted in the infamous case of gang rape and murder of a young girl from a Muslim nomadic tribe in 2018 that provoked horror and stoked interreligious tensions. The officers were also accused of destroying evidence.

A seventh suspect was acquitted, while an eighth defendant, who is a minor, will be tried in juvenile court.

All of them had pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

In total there are eight people accused of involvement in the case. They are all Hindus.

Asifa's case, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, gained national attention both for the gruesome nature of the crime and the response it elicited from local members of India's ruling party, some of whom protested the charges against the suspects.

The prosecution has reportedly made a decision to challenge the acquittal of the Hindu priest's son Vishal and his age since he is said to be a juvenile.

Asifa was part of the Gujjar Bakarwal community, a group of Muslim nomadic herders in the region. "Our hearts are bleeding", the girl's father, Mohammed Akhtar, told The Associated Press after the court's decision was announced. "If verdict comes in our favour it would be an answer to those who try to divide the society", lawyer Deepika Rajawat said.

Some criticized the sentences as not harsh enough. His trial is yet to begin as a petition to determine his age is waiting judgement in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Advocates say that the majority of rape cases remain unreported.

State prosecutor J.K. Chopra said the crime was a "barbaric act" that deserved the death penalty. However, whether those guilty are sentenced to death is left to the discretion of the judge in each case.

Sexual violence, including against children, is rife in India and outrage over the so-called Kathua case contributed to the government introducing the death penalty for child rapists.

As the incident had created communal tension in the restive region past year, authorities made elaborate security arrangements at the court complex in Pathankot and Kathua in the run-up to the verdict.

The Kathua incident was one of a string of brutal rapes that prompted thousands of people to take to the streets across India in April 2018, in some of the largest mass demonstrations held in the country since the rape and murder of a female college student in Delhi in 2012. She was then strangled and battered to death with a stone.

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