Kathua rape-murder case: Witnesses threatened by family, friends of accused

Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Crime Branch has asked Kathua police to file FIRs based on the complaints of two witnesses in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old who have alleged they are being threatened by the family members and friends of the accused, officials said today, PTI reported.

The Crime Branch has also asked the district police in Kathua to provide protection to the two witnesses who made written complaints.

They said they were being harassed and threatened by the friends and relatives of the accused and were under pressure to change their statements before the district and sessions court in Pathankot, Punjab, which is hearing the case.

“Legal action is being taken in accordance with the law,” a senior police official from Kathua told PTI.

“The Crime Branch has forwarded the complaints to the Kathua district police and said the witnesses should be provided protection and FIRs should be registered against those named by them,” a Crime Branch official added.

The names of the two witnesses were not immediately known.

The Crime Branch cited last month’s Supreme Court order directing protection of witnesses in the case of the child from a minority nomadic community who was allegedly kidnapped on January 10 in a village in Kathua and sexually assaulted before being killed. Her body was found on January 17.

The witnesses include a government official whose testimony was recorded by the Crime Branch during its investigation into the case that shook the nation with its brutality.

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