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HomePoliticsJ-K governor appoints Kathua gang rape accused's advocate as state law officer

J-K governor appoints Kathua gang rape accused’s advocate as state law officer

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Aseem Sawhney reportedly claimed Pak-backed terrorists were trying to launch attack on Army establishments from the village where gang rape took place.

New Delhi: The appointment of Aseem Sawhney, the lawyer for one of the accused in the Kathua gang rape and murder case, as an additional advocate general for the Jammu and Kashmir High Court by the state governor has come as a surprise to many.

Aseem’s father A.K. Sawhney — also a lawyer — has been representing the accused in the Pathankot district and sessions court, which is conducting the trial in the case on the orders of the Supreme Court.

Sometime back, Sawhney had purportedly made a startling claim that Pakistan-backed terrorists were trying to use Rasana — the place near Kathua where the eight-year-old victim was kept in confinement and repeatedly raped — as a base for launching attacks on Army establishments. He had also alleged that he was being threatened for representing the accused.

According to the order issued by the J&K law department Tuesday, Aseem Sawhney has been appointed to represent the government in the J&K High Court’s Jammu bench. He is one of the 16 lawyers appointed as law officers.

Sawhney’s Twitter bio identifies him as “a lawyer, journalist and honorary chief editorial consultant of Journeyline daily newspaper published from Jammu J&K”.

The Kathua case

The gang rape-cum-murder of the eight-year-old girl in January this year had led to massive outrage across the country. It also led to straining of ties between the then coalition partners in the J&K government — Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP and the BJP.

Investigation by ThePrint had brought to the fore the horrific manner in which the girl was raped.

The presence of two BJP ministers and some BJP MLAs at a protest meeting organised to rally support for the accused, where the ministers and MLAs also criticised their own government, had turned into a flashpoint between the allies, with the BJP finally pulling out of the government with the PDP last month.

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