Kathua rape and murder case: ‘Shameful that two cabinet ministers participated in a rally in favour of the accused’

Srinagar: National Conference has termed the participation of two BJP ministers in a rally of Hindu Ekta Morcha in support of the accused in the Kathua rape and murder case as a ‘shameful act’.

The main opposition party has demanded immediate action against the ministers.

The two cabinet ministers who addressed the rally were Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga and Forest Minister Chaudhry Lal Singh.

The congress while criticizing the participation of two ministers also said that chief Minister must come clear that why her cabinet ministers attended the rally.

“It was a shameful act on part of the government and the BJP ministers to have participated in the rally in favour of the accused. These ministers actually participated in the rally to polarize the people there,” National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said.

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He said that it is strange that the ministers instead of supporting the investigation process are supporting the crime.

“They are criminalizing the situation and creating a gap between two communities. When Crime Branch has identified the culprits what prompts these BJP ministers to demand the case to be transferred to CBI,”the NC leader questioned and said that if Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has any percentage of conscience left, she must take action against both the ministers.

State Congress President, G A Mir said that they want justice to be delivered to the 8-year-old girl and the CM must come clear why his two cabinet ministers participated in the rally.

“This is an inhuman act. It is a failure on part of Mehbooba Mufti led government that even her ministers are pointing fingers towards the Crime Branch investigation and some MLAs are flaring up the situation,” he said.

It is to pertinent to mention that differences emerged within the ruling PDP-BJP coalition over the alleged rape and murder case of a minor nomad girl in Kathua when two senior BJP ministers came down heavily on their own government for “creating jungle raj” in the victim’s Rasana village and not going in for a CBI investigation into the case.

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While adressing the rally, Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga criticized the Crime Branch for making arrests. “The way they (Crime Branch) have created a ‘jungle raj’ in the area, nobody will tolerate it. This is a democratic set-up and we will have to act under democratic norms,” Ganga said while addressing thousands of villagers at Ram Lila Ground in the Kootah area.

The BJP minister said the the “illegal detention” of local youths in the garb of investigation had shaken the faith of people in the police and administrative set-up. “Justice must be given to all and injustice will not be done with anyone. For this, the government must go for a CBI inquiry and we promise that we will take up this matter with the Chief Minister tomorrow,” Ganga said.

Chaudhry Lal Singh, who is the Forest Minister, too assured the gathering that the case “will be referred to the CBI”.

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“We support you in this cause and will also meet the Chief Minister to handover case to the CBI. We have to win the war,” Singh, said.

He also criticized the Crime Branch for making “random arrests” in Kuthua in connection with the case.“Why are you scared of the CBI enquiry? Why are Kashmiris supporting the Crime Branch probe? Some of the people shouted Pakistan slogans and action shall be taken against them,” the BJP minister said.

“The BJP government is for everyone and I assure you that case will be referred to the impartial agency,” Singh stressed.

On January 17, body of minor girl was found in the forests near Rasana, Hiranagar. The girl had been missing for a week. According to police, she had been abducted and raped by an SPO Deepak Khajuria, who was a part of the team sent out find her when she was missing.

The investigation of the Crime Branch further revealed that she had been drugged so that she couldn’t cry for help.

On January 23, the Mehbooba Mufti government had ordered a probe into the incident, and subsequently handed over the case to the Crime Branch of police. Several people including two policemen have been arrested so far for involvement in the crime.

However, Hindu Ekta Manch has been protesting in support of the arrested policeman, demanding transfer of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.The Chief Minister has already condemned the rallies being held by Hindu Ekta March and also said that raising the tricolour in such rallies amounts to desecration.

(With inputs from KNS)

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