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Pak-origin peer raises Kathua rape-murder case in UK Parliament

Apr 17, 2018

The rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir was on Monday raised in the House of Lords by a Pakistani-origin peer,

who called on the UK government to intervene to bring perpetrators of human rights abuses in the region to justice.

 Pakistani-origin peer Lord Ahmed, a staunch critic of the Indian government, raised the issue in the Upper House of the UK Parliament.

 In her response on behalf of the British government, Baroness Stedman-Scott said India has a strong democratic framework which guarantees human rights.

 "But we do acknowledge it does face numerous challenges relating to its size and development when it comes to enforcing fundamental rights enshrined in its Constitution," she said.

 "These cases (of rape and murder) are nothing short of horrific and we extend our condolences to the families of the victims. Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has been clear that justice will be done," she added. 

 Expressing anguish over the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called it as a “shame” for the country and asserted that the guilty will not be spared.

 The body of the Kathua girl was found in Rasana forest on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area.

 She was allegedly raped by six men who had held her in captivity in a village temple for a week in January. The victim was drugged, raped repeatedly before being bludgeoned to death.

 On January 23, the government had handed over the case to the Crime Branch which formed a special investigation team and arrested eight people, including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a head constable.The United Nations has also taken note of the case with its chief Antonio Guterres expressing hope that the authorities will bring perpetrators of the brutal crime to justice.

 “I think we’ve seen the media reports of this horrific case, of the abuse and the murder of a young girl. We very much hope that the authorities will bring the perpetrators to justice so they can be held accountable for the murder of this young girl,” Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujjaric told reporters at his daily press briefing on Friday.

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