Our Team You have asked for the trial to be shifted out of Kathua. Why?
Our Team There is a sense of insecurity. People can damage the case there. You saw how they tried to prevent the crime branch from filing the chargesheet. If they can try and do that, imagine what they can do with us Our Team
And right now, the national media is following this case. But, how long will that last? What after that? Our Team
You have also spoken about how the president of the Jammu Bar association, B.S Slathia, threatened you. What happened?
He said ‘don’t spread filth here. Don’t work because we are on strike. Dare you work during strike. And I have the means to stop you’. He said that to me in court. Then, even the people in the canteen were told not to serve me. When I went to get something to eat, I was denied.
I took legal recourse, as lawyers should, and wrote a complaint to the chief justice of J&K High Court who took cognizance.
As a woman fighting this tough battle, for the past two months in particular you have been pretty much alone. You are fighting these powerful men who have some sort of political backing. Does that overwhelm you at times?
That encourages me. It doesn’t make me weak. It helps me. It boosts my morale. It makes me stronger in a way that yes, we have the capacity to fight. I feel that I can take them on and win.
You have been in touch with the girl’s family from the beginning. How have they been coping?
They are very poor people. They don’t know too much about the way the world functions. They belong to the poorest kind of family. Bakerwals are always moving from one place to another. They generally feel helpless. They live unheard and die unheard. But, they want justice for their girl. When I approached them, they were happy to see someone willing to fight for justice for their girl.
I am in constant touch with them. They know that the entire country is talking about their girl. But, again, I am telling you, they know very little about courts, police, justice.
How are the court fees and other legal expenditures in this case being taken care of?
I am paying out of my own pocket. I haven’t charged a single penny from the family.