Sarah Groves murder trial faces uncertainty after Kashmir split

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British fitness instructor Sarah Groves was brutally murdered in a houseboat in Srinagar, Kashmir in April 2013 when she was visiting India to meet her boyfriend’s family. A Dutch guest Richard De Wit was charged with murder. Groves was stabbed 46 times.

Groves’ father, Vic, wanted both the government to delve into the matter and do justice to the case but with the new motion applied in Kashmir, the case might be dragged on even further. The case has faced constant delays over the past six years due to missing witness, civil unrest and the defendant lacking legal representation.

De Wit denied murdering her in a trial. Groves’ boyfriend Saeed Shoda was cross-questioned. The couple began dating over Christmas and Groves had been living with her boyfriend’s family for a few months.


The houseboat where British tourist Sarah Groves was found dead at Dal Lake in Srinagar on 9 April, 2013
REUTERS/Danish Ismail

The new resolution of revoking the special status of Kashmir by scraping off Article 370 and imposing the rules of the Indian constitution in the state brings up the questionability of a fair trial. The case was earlier registered as ‘The State of Jammu & Kashmir v Richard de Wit’ and now, the fate seems uncertain.

Vic tried reaching out to their legal advisor in Kashmir but was unable to do so because of suspension of phone and internet connections all over the state. He told in an interview to BBC, “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.”

Describing the new events in the Kashmir he called it “another obstacle to achieving a safe outcome” of their daughter’s trial, in a statement to BBC.