In a surprising move, the family of the eight-year-old Kathua rape and murder victim has decided to drop their lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, with the father of the victim expressing lack of confidence in her.

He has said  Rajawat has been rarely available at the court hearings.

Quoting some people close to the family, an IANS report said the girl’s father had moved an application in the Pathankot court in Punjab, where the case was shifted earlier this year. It said Rajawat would not represent them and the power of attorney was being withdrawn.

On Wednesday, the victim’s father had told reporters that the case has been heard 100 times by the court so far and around 100 witnesses had been examined during the trial, but Rajawat had only appeared twice for the family.

Rajawat, who hogged newspaper headlines when she spearheaded the cause of the nomadic family, told the media that she had been receiving death threats ever since she became associated with the case.

After being dropped as the lawyer, Rajawat took to Twitter and wrote, “I was there with them when no one was. Now since  the rainy days have passed, they are winding up with me just because I could not regularly attend the trial which is taken care of by senior criminal lawyers.

I don’t blame them. it is the human tendency which travels in genes.”

In April, the Supreme Court had directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to provide security to the victim’s family and also the lawyer.

The minor girl was raped and subsequently murdered in Rasana village of Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir in January.

Eight people, including Sanji Ram, the alleged mastermind of the crime, have been arrested.

The Supreme Court transferred the hearing of the case to a Pathankot court that has been holding the trial on a day-to-day basis.

(With agency inputs)