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UN reacts to `horrific` Kathua incident, expresses hope for justice

United Nations: Terming as “horrific” the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, UN chief Antonio Guterres expressed hope that the authorities will bring perpetrators of the brutal crime to justice.

The girl from the nomadic Bakerwal Muslim community disappeared near her house on January 10 and a week later, her body was found in the same area. She was allegedly raped by six men who had held her in captivity in a village temple for a week in January. The victim was drugged, rapped repeatedly before being bludgeoned to death. The incident has sparked outrage across India.

“I think we’ve seen the media reports of this horrific case, of the abuse and the murder of a young girl. We very much hope that the authorities will bring the perpetrators to justice so they can be held accountable for the murder of this young girl,” Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujjaric told reporters at his daily press briefing.

Dujjaric was responding to a question about the Secretary General’s response to the rape and murder of the girl. A Special Investigation Team of Crime Branch, formed to probe the incident, has arrested eight people, including two special police officers (SPOs) and a head constable and a sub-inspector, who were charged with destroying evidence.

Expressing anguish over the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called it as a “shame” for the country and asserted that the guilty will not be spared. “I want to assure the nation that no criminal will be spared. Justice will be done. Our daughters will get justice,” he said.

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