Seven of the eight men, who are accused of raping and murdering the 8-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua, pleaded not guilty and requested narco tests when they were produced before a trial court on Monday, say reports.
The seven accused were produced before Sanjeev Gupta, Principal Sessions Judge, Kathua. The eighth accused, who is a juvenile, is also under arrest. The juvenile has filed a bail application before a judicial magistrate that will be heard on April 26, say reports.
Indian Express quoted Sanji Ram, a former revenue official who is supposed to be the main conspirator in the case, as saying, "We all are ready to undergo narco test and none of us has any objection to it."
According to an NDTV report one of the accused, Deepak Khajuria, has also said that the Crime Branch forced them to make confessions and hence he wants to undergo a narco test.
Evidence found through narco tests are not admissible in court unless the court gives permission for the test.
Sessions judge Gupta has asked the Crime Branch to give the accused copies of the chargesheet. The next hearing in the case is on April 28.
Ram's daughter Madhu Sharma protested outside the trial court demanding a CBI inquiry. NDTV quoted her as saying, "We just want CBI inquiry, then only we will accept it. Just CBI inquiry and nothing else. Then let them hang anybody who is found guilty."
Ram, his son Vishal Jangotra, head constable Tilak Raj, sub inspector Anand Dutta, special police officers Khajuria and Surinder Kumar and Rasana resident Parvesh Kumar were arrested after a Crime Branch inquiry in the case.
They had held the 8-year-old in captivity inside the 'devasthan' of a temple in Kathua after kidnapping her. The girl who belonged to the nomadic Bakarwal tribe was raped and tortured for a week before being killed.
The Crime Branch has alleged that the Ram, along with the other accused, conspired to rape and murder the child to drive the the Bakarwal tribe out of the area.
Meanwhile, the parents of the child have demanded justice and said they were concerned about their safety.
The gruesome nature of the crime has caused massive outrage, prompting protest across the country.