THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 15 NOVEMBER, 2018
“I Have a Recording to Make Public, Should I?” Asks Advocate Rajawat in Kathua Case
Victim’s father removes Deepika Rajawat as Attorney
SRINAGAR: A day after her removal from the case, former lawyer for Kathua child victim, Deepika Rajawat, today alleged that the eight-year-old’s parents were asked to withdraw the attorney they gave her to represent their daughter in the case.
Taking to Facebook, Rajawat wrote: “I have a recording to make public. Shall I? It reveals names of lawyers who suggested father of Asifa to file application for withdrawing attorney he had given me to appear in Pathankote. I am surprised...”
She however didn’t name the lawyers. Despite repeated attempts, Deepika could not be reached for comments.
A court in Pathankot is conducting trial into the horrifying gang-rape and murder of the eight year old nomad girl earlier this year in a ghastly conspiracy by right wing zealots to terrorise the Muslim nomads in Rasana village of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district.
Earlier today, Deepika Rajawat posted a video on her Facebook in which she vowed to stand with the family, even though they have withdrawn her power of attorney to represent their eight-year-old daughter.
“The case has crossed initial hurdles.... Two senior special prosecutors are defending Asifa and they have done a good job. I could not attend the court regularly in Pathankot because I have other professional commitments also which include cases similar to that of Asifa,” she said.
The family of the eight-year-old Kathua rape and murder victim had moved an application in court to drop their lawyer due to her unavailability during the court hearings. Of more than 100 hearings, Rajawat is reported to have attended just two.
The young woman lawyer has faced wrath on social media by trolls for taking up the case of Asifa. She has also been threatened with sexual assaults and death threats. However, she has been very vocal in her defence of the case and recently spoke at the United Nations during a session on crimes against women.
On Wednesday, the father of the victim made public an order of the Pathankot court which stated that Rajawat shall not represent them and the power of attorney was being withdrawn.
“So far the case has been heard 100 times by the court and around 100 witnesses have been examined during the trial, but she (Deepika) had only appeared twice for the family,” the father said.
The gruesome murder came to light when the mangled body of the victim was found in a forested area near their residence. After post-mortem and other medical formalities, it was revealed that she was gang-raped and murdered.
The Crime Branch of J&K Police, which is investigating the case, has arrested eight people, including Sanji Ram, a former revenue officer associated with Hindu right-wing outfits, who was the alleged mastermind of the crime.