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* A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Friday decided, of its own accord, to examine the Kathua rape and murder case.
* The court announced the decision after a clutch of lawyers urged the CJI and other senior judges to take suo motu cognisance of the gruesome gangrape-murder case. The lawyers said they would put together the facts of the case in writing for the SC.
* The apex court also issued a notice to Bar Council of India, Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association, Jammu High Court Bar Association and Kathua Bar Association on a plea filed against the lawyers for allegedly blocking filing of chargesheet against the accused in the case.
* Women and Children Development Maneka Gandhi said today that her department is working on a proposal to amend the POCSO law to bring in the provision of death penalty for the rape of a minor below the age of 12 years.
* In Jammu, the Gujjar community took to the streets demanding the accused in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua be given death penalty.
Similar demonstrations were also held in Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru today.
* Following agitation in Jammu and Kashmir over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim Bakherwal girl, the Congress pressured CM Mehbooba Mufti to come clean on whether two of her cabinet ministers were involved in instigating trouble in Kathua region.
According to reports, two BJP ministers — forest minister Lal Singh and industries minister Chander Prakash Ganga — had visited Kathua’s Rasana village last month to attend a rally in support of the accused persons.
* National Conference has expelled a party functionary — Hiranagar block president Shanti Swaroop — for participating in the Hindu Ekta Munch rally supporting the accused in the Kathua rape and murder case.
* Piqued by police inaction in the Unnao rape case, the Allahabad high court today ordered the CBI to arrest prime accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who was detained for questioning by the agency earlier today.
The court further directed the CBI to consider filing an application for cancellation of bail granted to other accused in the case.
* The investigative agency yesterday registered three separate cases related to the alleged rape of a 18-year-old woman by the Bangarmau MLA and his brother.
* Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal began her indefinite hunger strike demanding the death penalty within six months for those who rape minors. Maliwal, who yesterday wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi urging justice for the rape victims, was joined by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha at Rajghat.
* A number of student and women organisations today protested at Parliament Street against the Kathua and Unnao rape cases and questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue. Organisations like All India Progressive Women’s Association, National Federation of Indian Women, JNU Students Union, Students Federation of India among others took part in the protest.
* Last night, Congress president Rahul Gandhi led a midnight march to the India Gate to protest against the two rape cases and sexual violence against women in the country. Accompanied by his sister Priyanka, her husband Robert Vadra and Congress workers, Rahul demanded urgent action against the perpetrators of the two heinous gangrapes.