Indian court sentenced 6 men for long going rape case in 2018. The 8-year-old girl was grazing horses in the foothills of the Himalayas when she was lured by kidnappers. In the next few days, researchers say, she was drugged, starved and raped in a group before being beaten to death with a stone. His small body was found in a forest.
On Monday, an Indian court sentenced six men for their rape and murder in 2018. Three of the men, including a 61-year-old temple named after Sanji Ram and believed to be the main conspirator, were sentenced to chain perpetual, while the other three were found guilty of destroying evidence and were sentenced to five years in prison.
Four of the train’s police officers were among the convicts, including the three shorter sentences.
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A seventh suspect was acquitted, while an eighth defendant, who is a minor, will be tried in a juvenile court. The eight accused had pleaded not guilty.
The case fueled religious tensions in India and sparked protests across the country, including many in support of the accused. They are all Hindus. The victim was a Muslim girl from a nomadic community in Kathua district, in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, in India. Some politicians of the Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janata Party supported the accused. When the police officers went to the leaf of accusations accusing the Hindus, some Hindu lawyers tried to block them physically.
The crime against the girl was apparently a plot to scare away her tribe, which has been involved in a dispute over land with the Hindu majority community in Kathua. They kept her captive in a local Hindu temple, where she hid under a cot in a sedate state.
“Our family has gone through hell, our hearts are bleeding,” the girl’s father, Mohammed Akhtar, told The Associated Press after the court’s decision was announced.
“The verdict is a tribute to her,” wrote the victim’s lawyer, Deepika Singh Rajawat. Mehbooba Mufti, former prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir, welcomed the trial. “It’s about time we stop playing politics for a heinous crime,” he wrote on Twitter.