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The family of Aasifa, who was brutally raped and murdered, have drop their lawyer, Deepika Rajawat, citing that she was barely available at the court hearings. Rajawat was praised by activists and the civil circles for her ‘bravery’ earlier and was also given awards in this regard.

Meanwhile, Rajawat expressed sadness about her removal and said in an interview that people were wrongfully claiming that she gained publicity through the case of Aasifa. She also added that the father of the victim was not in a position to file a case. “But I don’t know what led him to remove me all of a sudden. Overall, people do not want me to be credited,” Rajawat said. Rajawat also said that appearing for every hearing was not possible for her, as Pathankot was around 150 km away from Jammu. She also added that she had not taken any fees from the family of Aasifa.

Aasifa, an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community, had gone missing from her home in Rassana village in Kathua on January 10. Her body was found in the same area a week later. The Crime Branch investigation found that the girl was abducted, drugged, gang raped and brutally murdered. Rajawat got fame after she fought the case initially, in spite of receiving threats from various parties. She was also recognised at various forums and international platforms for standing up against all odds, to provide justice to the 8-year-old rape and murder victim.

It is in the wake of this that the family members of Aasifa had moved an application to the session court judge of Pathankot, where the case was shifted that Rajawat shall not represent them and the power of the attorney was being withdrawn. According to the father of the victim, there were around 100 hearings in the court and around 100 witnesses were examined so far, but Rajawat had only appeared twice in the court.

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