Supreme Court (File | PTI)

KATHUA/NEW DELHI: The trial in the savage rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomadic girl kicked off on Monday with a Kathua court directing that all accused be promptly given copies of the chargesheet, even as the Supreme Court issued notice to the J&K government on a petition seeking transfer of the trial to Chandigarh. Seven of the accused, produced in the court of District and Sessions Judge Sanjeev Gupta, said they were ready to undergo narco-analysis to prove their innocence. The main accused, former revenue official Sanji Ram, was heard chanting Jai Shri Ram and Uparwala sab dekhta hai (God is watching) as he was being taken to court.

The eighth accused, a juvenile, was produced in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate where he moved a bail application. The case has been committed to the sessions court, which will start hearings from April 18.Advocate Ankur Sharma, the lawyer of five accused – Sanji Ram, his son Vishal, Parvesh alias Mannu, SPOs Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma – told TNIE his clients had told the court they were being framed.

“They informed the court they are ready for a narco test to prove their innocence.” The next hearing is on April 28.

The minor girl, from Rasana village in Kathua, was abducted while grazing horses on January 10, drugged, gangraped and brutally assaulted before being murdered.In the SC, the child’s father sought transfer of the trial outside the state. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra asked the J&K government to respond to the petition. The next hearing is on April 27.