Jammu & Kashmir

‘Three lawyers who want me off the case misguided Kathua rape victim’s family, told them my life is under threat’

Three lawyers including Mubeen Farooky and Public Prosecutor Mr. Chopra wanted me off the case

Srinagar: Lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat who, a couple of months ago, was celebrated as a warrior for taking the rape-and-murder case of an 8-year-old Bakerwal girl from Kathua, Jammu, in the court of law is in news again.

Reports about her losing the victim’s family’s support have been making headlines, but the lawyer says that there is a deliberate attempt to get her off the case.

While parents of the victim have filed an application in the court seeking removal of Rajawat from the case, she says she never left the family and will continue to support them.

In an application filed before the trial court in Pathankot on November 14, the victim’s father had said that Rajawat won’t be representing them in the case anymore.

Rajawat believes that three lawyers have misguided the family asking them to remove her from the case as there was a threat to her life.

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The father’s application read, “Keeping in view her apprehension and non-appearance in this case… I hereby withdraw my power of attorney issued to Deepika Singh Rajawat and now she is not my advocate.”

While talking to Free Press Kashmir, Rajawat said that she had spoken to the family. “I asked them why they filed the application without even letting me know. They were told that there was a threat to my life had I continued to be their lawyer,” she says adding, “I have fought for the victim and that needs no description. Even when there was a threat to my life.”

She also says, “three lawyers including Mubeen Farooky, Public Prosecutor Mr. Chopra and another lawyer, whose name she did not reveal, have misguided the family. I don’t want to take the name of the third lawyer as he had helped us a lot in the beginning.”

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According to media reports, Farooky, another lawyer appearing for the victim’s family had said that the application was moved by the victim’s father since Rajawat had “no time” to appear in the case — she has appeared only twice in the last several months.

Countering the statement, Rajawat says, “People know how much I worked for it. Now, I was doing as much as I was required to. I was monitoring the case, updating on social media platforms. Ask the Magistrate Sahab about the trial he is talking about today, who transferred that? Who got the investigation monitored?”

Rajawat says she had heard rumours about her removal from the case, around 15 days back.

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Meanwhile, she says, “I have, and will always, fight for women. I am grateful for the love and respect I got. My main purpose was to get the trial transferred and file the petition. And I did it. I have not left the parents.”

“I still stand with them. In the coming days, it will all be decided. One cannot force help to anyone,” she adds.

Pertinently, Activist Talib Hussain, who had been at the forefront for demanding justice in the Kathua rape-murder case was arrested for allegedly raping a woman in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district. He has alleged torture in custody.

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Activitst Shehla Rashid was accused of siphoning funds she helped raise for the family. The news was spread across social media, and was proved to be fake news.

The investigation officers of the Jammu and Kashmir Police headed by Ramesh Kumar Jalla, who investigated the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from Kathua, has been accused of being unfair, and working under pressure, while his team members including Irfan Wani, have been called ‘tainted‘ by the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson.

Interestingly, top BJP leaders including Chowdhary Lal Singh in Jammu rallied in favour of the rapists, alleging that they had been framed by the Jammu and Kashmir police.

The motive of the crime, according to the police, was to create fear among the Muslim nomadic Bakarwal community and force them to leave.

ALSO READ: Lal Singh: A demagogue’s field day

Those who rallied, used the Indian national flag, and demanded that the case be handed over to the Central Beuro of Investigation.

Speaking on her removal from the case, lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat says, “I got to know 15 days back that there are people who wanted me off this case. A person came to me telling me that they are planning to throw me out,” she recalls.

She believes it is a conspiracy and some people had pushed the parents to file the application.

“It was not about the parents. But, other people had felt ignored. So, they wanted me off the case. The way the application has been filed is so unfortunate. The way they have raised allegations on me is so unfortunate.”

She says, “While they say I have gained a lot because of this case, I never charged a penny for this. Yes, I have earned the gains in terms of love and respect.”

She says will address the public, sharing her side of the story.


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