Amid widespread outrage over the Kathua rape case, the defence counsel said on Wednesday that the investigation was led by a woman police officer, and that it was beyond her "intelligence" to work on this case, according to reports.
Jammu-based advocate Ankur Sharma, who is appearing for five out of the eight accused in the case, was quoted by News18 as saying: "Shwetambri kya hai, ladki hai. Uska kitna hi dimaag hoga (What is Shwetambri, she is a girl. How intelligent can she be?) She is a new officer and by showing her a few circumstantial evidences, some people made her believe that the crime has been committed in this fashion."
"All witnesses examined by the crime branch have stated that they were tortured by the police and were always told what to say and what not to say. Around 40 to 50 people have said that they have been tortured by the crime branch to give favourable statements," the lawyer added.
The statement came after multiple reports about about the hurdles Shwetambri Sharma, the lone woman officer in the Special Investigative Team in charge of the case, faced during the investigation.
"As most of the accused were Brahmins, they over-emphasised their surnames. They particularly tried to influence me and communicated through different means that we belonged to one religion and one caste and I must not hold them guilty of the rape and murder of a Muslim girl. I told them that as an officer of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, I had no religion and my only religion was my police uniform," Sharma was quoted by The Quint as saying.
The eight people accused of raping and killing the eight-year-old pleaded not guilty and asked the judge for a narco-analysis test as the trial into the case which began on Monday. Seven of the eight accused were produced before District and Sessions Judge Sanjay Gupta, who asked the state Crime Branch to give them copies of the chargesheet and fixed 28 April as the next date of hearing.
The eighth accused is a juvenile who moved a bail application before the chief judicial magistrate.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Apr 18, 2018 13:57:13 IST