Kathua rape-murder: Family members of accused call off hunger strike

KATHUA (IOK): Family members of the accused in the Kathua rape-murder case have called off their hunger strike, days ahead of the commencement of trial in the sensational case. Five women relatives of the accused had started ‘Fast Unto Death’ protest on March 31 to press for a CBI probe into the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl from a nomadic community here in January.
They called off the strike on Sunday evening.
Crime branch of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir Police had arrested eight persons in connection with the case.
“The decision to end the hunger strike was taken as the day-to-day trial of the case is going to start on May 31…Although we will continue with our demand for a CBI probe into the incident through legal means,” Hindu Ekta Manch (HEM) president Vijay Sharma said today.
The Hindu Ekta Manch was formed by the locals who have maintained that those arrested in the case were innocent and wrongly implicated.
Sharma said the decision to end the strike was also taken to avoid any untoward incident in view of the scorching heat in the region.

The HEM chief, however, said they would stage symbolic protests everyday in the town till their demand for the CBI probe in the case was met.
The daughter of the main accused, Sanji Ram, had met Union minister Jitendra Singh during his visit to the town yesterday.
The Supreme Court, had on May 7, transferred the case fromĀ  Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot, and ordered a day-to-day trial in front of the camera. The next date of hearing in the case has been fixed for July 9.

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