Guernsey

Sarah Groves: Dad fears for Kashmir death Briton's murder trial

Sarah Groves
Image caption Sarah Groves was found dead on a houseboat in Kashmir in April 2013

The father of a British traveller who was stabbed to death in Kashmir fears her murder trial may collapse after the Indian state was stripped of its independence.

Sarah Groves, 24, from Guernsey was found dead on the houseboat she shared with a local family in April 2013.

Her father Vic said the future of the trial was now uncertain.

Dutch national Richard de Wit has denied murdering Miss Groves in a trial which has faced constant delays.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The state of Kashmir, where the trial is being held, has been stripped of its independence

India's government has revoked part of the constitution that gives Indian-administered Kashmir special status.

Article 370 guarantees significant autonomy for the Muslim-majority state, and was a result of the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947.

Mr Groves has been unable to contact the family's legal representative in Srinagar, after the region's internet and mobile data was shut down.

"The longer-term implications are unclear and discussions will be held with the Foreign Office to clarify those areas that could affect the outcome of the trial," he said.

"At this stage it is unclear what effect the change of status will have on the legitimacy of the trial itself, given that it is listed as 'The State of Jammu & Kashmir v Richard de Wit'."

Mr Groves described it as "another obstacle to achieving a safe outcome" to a trial that has been delayed for several reasons, including civil unrest, missing witnesses, and a defendant lacking legal representation.

Image caption Vic Groves said it was "another obstacle to achieving a safe outcome"

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