Kathua rape-murder: Resignation of Kashmir ministers accepted

Alonzo Simpson
April 15, 2018

"To safeguard the interest of Jammu, I will not hesitate to fight the government or meet the Prime Minister personally and reiterate the demand for a CBI probe into the Kathua rape-and-murder case, which is the demand of lakhs of people", Ganga told reporters here this evening. They had even threatened of communal clashes if she was buried there, according to the local All Tribal Coordination Committee (ATCC).

He said a perception was created by the opposition, particularly Congress, that the two BJP leaders were "pro-rapists" and were trying to hamper the investigation.

Minister for Forests and Environment Chaudhary Lal Singh and Industries and Commerce Minister Chander Prakash Ganga had supported a demand by the Hindu Ekta Manch that the case be handed over to CBI for investigation.

He claimed the two had gone to Kathua to pacify a crowd, although video clips show them instigating the mob.

Madhav, largely credited for stitching together the ruling combine of the BJP and the PDP, denied that the two ministers had been asked to resign following pressure from its senior partner in the government. Their intention was not to hamper the investigation.

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"They took the resignation of two ministers because as per media, their role was not positive, " said PDP leader and Works Minister Nayeem Akhtar. Should we not listen to them? We will not allow this jungle raj, under which they (police) are picking up people at will, to continue. "Is it fine that state keeps on burning and the people become violent..." I have never done politics for power.

The PDP and the BJP held separate meetings in Srinagar and Jammu and iterated their commitment to the alliance. Madhav was present in the meeting in which all BJP lawmakers and other party functionaries were present to take a final call on the future course of the party with its alliance partner PDP.

Addressing a press conference here with Deputy CM Nirmal Singh of the party, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav said the motive of its ministers in joining the Hindu Ekta Manch protest in support of the Kathua accused was to "dispel misgivings about investigations and reassure people that there will be no harassment of any innocent".

"We, including the BJP which is in the government, will ensure justice for the girl and punishment for the culprits", he said. The girl had disappeared from a spot near her house on January 10. The accused then strangled and hit her on the head twice with a stone.

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