EIGHT MEN ON TRIAL FOR THE RAPE AND MURDER OF GIRL IN INDIA'S KASHMIR AMID PUBLIC OUTRAGE

Eight men accused of involvement in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in India's Jammu and Kashmir state arrived court for hearing Monday.  The girl was reportedly drugged, held captive in a Hindu temple and sexually assaulted for seven days before she was strangled and battered to death with a stone by her perverted reprobate captors in January, police said.
Eight men accused of involvement in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in India's Jammu and Kashmir state arrived court for hearing Monday.
The girl was reportedly drugged, held captive in a Hindu temple and sexually assaulted for seven days before she was strangled and battered to death with a stone by her perverted reprobate captors in January, police said.

India plagued with numerous rape cases across the nations and violence against women and children - reported rapes climbed sixty percent from 2012 to 40,000 in 2016, and many more go unreported across the Asian nation, especially in rural areas.

Another case of torture, rape and murder of another child have emerged from Prime Minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi's western home state of Gujarat. The corpse of a girl was found near a cricket ground in the city of Surat a week ago.

Autopsy revealed the gruesome ordeal of torture, sexual assault and strangulation. The corpse had 86 injury marks, including some inflicted to her vagina with what appears to be hard, blunt objects, while more minor injuries suggest she had been beaten with a stick or slapped.

Doctors estimate that the unidentified girl was about 12, police said.

Modi assured the country that the perpetrators would not be spared, but he received backlash for not speaking sooner.

Modi who's on an official visit to Europe this week received a letter from 50 former police chiefs, ambassadors and senior civil servants upbraiding the political leadership over what they described as its weak response.
"The bestiality and the barbarity involved in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old child shows the depths of depravity that we have sunk into."
"In post-Independence India, this is our darkest hour and we find the response of our government, the leaders of our political parties inadequate and feeble."
The letter went further by blaming the BJP and like-minded right-wing Hindu groups for promoting a culture of "majoritarian belligerence and aggression" in Jammu, and in the Uttar Pradesh case it blasted the party for using feudal strongmen, who behave like gangsters, to shore up its rule.

The former officials expressed they bear no political affiliation other than to enforcethe values of India's secular constitution that guarantees equal rights to all citizens. Some signatories have spoken out in the past also against Modi's Hindu nationalist party accusing it of whipping up hostility towards India's 172 million Muslims.

On Monday, party leader Rahul Gandhi took to twitter to share that there had been nearly 20,000 child rapes in India in 2016, and urged the Prime Minister to fast-track prosecutions "if he is serious about providing 'justice for our daughters'".

Though it's been months since the rape and murder of the girl in Kashmir, but backlash only erupted after the charge sheet giving gruesome details of the crime was filed last week.

It alleged that the attack was part of a plan to drive the nomads out of Kathua district in Jammu, the mostly Hindu portion of India's only Muslim-majority state.

The alleged ringleader of the campaign, retired bureaucrat Sanji Ram, looked after a small temple where the girl had been held and assaulted. Two of the eight on trial are police officers who stand accused of being bribed to stifle the investigation.

After Monday's initial hearing in Srinagar, the judge adjourned the case until April 28 while the Supreme Court heard a petition from the lawyer representing the victim's family to have the trial held elsewhere due to fears for her safety.

Ahead of the trial, the lawyer said she had been threatened with rape and death for taking up the case.

"I was threatened yesterday that ‘we will not forgive you’. I am going to tell Supreme Court that I am in danger,” said the lawyer, Deepika Singh Rawat, who has fought for a proper investigation since the girl's body was found in January.

The Supreme Court is considering transferring the trial to Chandigarh in Punjab state, and has ordered security for both the lawyer and the victim's family after her father said he too feared for their safety.

Two ministers from the BJP, which shares power in Jammu and Kashmir, were forced to resign after being pilloried for joining a rally in support of the accused men.

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