Kathua rape-and-murder accused will be tried as adult: Lawyers

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NEW DELHI, July 5: Kathua rape-and-murder, who had claimed to be a juvenile, accused will be tried as adult in the Kathua gangrape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl, said lawyers on Thursday.
The accused, one of the eight persons charged for rape, had claimed to be a juvenile and is a nephew of the alleged mastermind Sanji Ram.
The little girl, belonging from a minority nomadic community, had disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua in Jammu region on January 10. Her body was found in the same area a week later.
The court had last month framed charges of rape and murder against seven of the eight accused, paving way for the beginning of trial against them.
The accused against whom charges were framed were Sanji Ram, his son Vishal, special police officers Deepak Khajuria alias Deepu and Surinder Verma, Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, head constable Tilak Raj, and sub-inspector Arvind Datta.
Sanji Ram, who is alleged to have hatched the conspiracy with other accused for kidnapping the girl as a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, is considered to be the main accused, the crime branch charge sheet has alleged. (Agencies)