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Posted at: Oct 23, 2018, 12:44 AM; last updated: Oct 23, 2018, 12:44 AM (IST)

Abandoned by social activists, politicians: Kathua victim’s kin

Parents of minor girl back from Kargil, on way to Jammu plains

Dinesh Manhotra

Tribune News Service

Nandini Hills (Samba), Oct 22

It has been 10 months since the rape-murder of the minor Kathua girl, but her mother breaks down every time she remembers the horror that her daughter went through.

As part of the annual migration, the family spent four months in the mountainous areas of Kargil district and is now on its way to the plains in the Jammu region, where it will stay for the next six months.

Over 20 nomadic families, including the biological and adoptive parents of the Kathua rape victim, will spend a month in the Nandini forest of Samba district before proceeding to their final destination in the plains, where they stay every winter.

“The so-called social activists and politicians, who were in the forefront of the campaign seeking justice, brazenly exploited the brutality committed on my daughter and abandoned us after achieving petty personal goals,” the Kathua victim’s mother told The Tribune in a choked voice.

“Except exploiting the incident for their personal goals, the so-called activists have done nothing to ensure justice to my daughter. We want exemplary punishment for those who committed the heinous crime,” said the woman as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“We are hopeful that justice will prevail,” she said.

The Tribune team travelled deep into the Nandani forest to meet the Kathua victim’s family. From the heights of the cold desert of Kargil, both biological and adoptive parents of the victim have reached Samba after a month-long trek.

After spending a month in the Nandini forest, the adoptive family will move to Rasana in Kathua district as the temperature will have further come down by then, but the biological parents will stay in Samba where they spend the winter every year.

The nomadic families are moving to the Jammu plains along with their livestock.

“The rape and murder of our daughter has shattered our confidence, but we have faith in locals with whom we have been living in harmony and peace for decades,” said the grandfather of the Kathua victim who lives in Samba. “Our families have no fear in mind due to our trust in the locals,” he said. The Kathua victim was adopted by a family from Rasana while her biological parent live in Samba. “Many people exploited the incident but were quick to abandon us,” said the biological father of the girl.

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