Deepika Singh Rajawat, the lawyer representing the family of the girl who was brutally raped and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua, has received words of encouragement from an unlikely quarter.
British actress Emma Watson tweeted, “All power to Deepika Singh Rajawat.” Watson, who is also a United Nations Women’s goodwill ambassador, was reacting to a photo profile of Rajawat.
The cover image on that photo profile was the one you see above in this story.
Rajawat has been under spotlight ever since she began representing the family of the Kathua rape victim. The horrific rape and murder case itself has made headlines around the country and the world, especially after the police chargesheet revealed gory details of the crime.
Deepika Singh Rajawat has previously claimed that she fears for her life and that she had been threatened by colleagues, including those from the Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association.
A Bar Council of India (BCI) panel, however, countered Rajawat’s charge. A report submitted by the BCI panel in the Supreme Court said there was no evidence to back Rajawat’s claim that she had been threatened for representing the Kathua rape victim’s family.
Rajawat continues to represent the family. The trial in the case is currently on hold after the Supreme Court stayed proceedings until May 7.
The apex court is hearing a plea filed by the Kathua rape and murder victim’s father seeking that the trial be moved outside Jammu and Kashmir. Two of the accused in the case have opposed the plea and have asked the Supreme Court to transfer the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The Supreme Court will hear these requests on May 7.
KATHUA RAPE AND MURDER
The Kathua rape and murder case pertains to the alleged abduction, confinement, sexual assault and killing of an eight-year-old girl from the Bakarwal tribe of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the police chargesheet, the girl was kidnapped while she was out grazing her horses and was confined for eight days in a temple where she was gangraped.
She was then murdered as part of a larger plot to drive the Bakarwals – a nomadic tribe – away from Kathua, according to the police. Eight men, including two special police officers, have been arrested in the case.
The Kathua rape case sparked nationwide anger and promoted the Centre to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in order to provide for death penalty in cases of rapes of girls less than 12 years of age.