Srinagar: The lawyer representing the family of the eight-year-old raped and killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua has said she will go to the Supreme Court to request protection as there is a threat to her life. Deepika S Rajawat says she fears she can be "raped or killed".
"I don't know how long I will be alive. I can be raped...My modesty can be outraged. I can be killed, I can be damaged. I was threatened yesterday that 'we will not forgive you'. I am going to tell the Supreme Court tomorrow that I am in danger," Ms Rajawat said on Sunday.
This morning, the girl's father requested the Supreme Court to shift the trial to Chandigarh, citing a backlash and security fears for his family.
"We don't think there is conducive atmosphere in Kathua for the trial," said Ms Rajawat.
The rape, which has left India shocked and angry and driven thousands of protesters to the streets, goes into trial from today. Six men, including a retired revenue official, two police officers and a minor have been accused of kidnapping, gang-raping and murdering the little girl from the nomadic Bakherwal community in Kathua in January. Two more policemen have been charged with trying to cover up the crime for money.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs. The case has deeply polarised the region as the accused men are all Hindu and the child was Muslim.
The girl's body was found on January 17. After the accused were arrested, a group called the Hindu Ekta Manch took out protests in which two BJP ministers and a lawyers' body linked to the Congress participated.
The case gained national attention after a police chargesheet revealed that the girl was kept in a local temple, gang-raped repeatedly, and kept sedated and without food before being strangled. Her head was also bashed in with a large rock. Just before she was killed, one of the accused, a police officer, insisted on raping her one last time.
A group of lawyers had tried to present the police from submitting the chargesheet.