SrinagarA day after two BJP ministers in the state cabinet questioned the Crime Branchs impartiality in the rape-and-murder of an eight-year-old nomad girl in Kathua, and termed its arrests as jungle raj, strong demands have gone out from opposition parties for the chief minister to take action against the duo.
Without naming the two BJP ministers, the National Conference said on Friday that they were out to polarize the Jammu region and needed to be called to account immediately, while the Congress said that the chief minister must explain how two of her cabinet colleagues had participated in a rally of the Hindu Ekta Manch virtually in support of those accused in the rape-and-murder case.
Accompanied by BJP legislators from Kathua and Hira Nagar, commerce minister Chander Prakash Ganga and forest minister Lal Singh had on Thursday addressed a rally held by the Manch at the Ram Lila complex in the Kootah area and supported its demand that the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, with the Manch claiming that the state police and the Crime Branch were acting under the pressure of the other community.
The ministers had lashed out at police authorities for arresting one or the other person at will.
At least three persons two Special Police Officers and a minor have been arrested so far.
The BJP ministers had said that the illegal detention of the local youth had shaken the faith of the people in the police and the administrative set-up.
On Friday, the NC MLA and general secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar said that the ministers participation in the rally was shameful
They are criminalizing the situation and creating a gap between two communities, Sagar said. When the Crime branch has identified the culprits, what prompts these BJP ministers to demand the case to be transferred to the CBI?
The chief minister must take action against both the ministers, he said.
state Congress president, G A Mir, said that his party wanted justice for the 8-year-old girl and that the chief minister must come clear why two of her cabinet colleagues had participated in the rally.
Recently, soon after the newly-formed Hindu Ekta Manch had launched a rally in Kathua against the Crime Branch arrests, and held a march sporting the Indian national flag, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had said that she been appalled by what she described as an insult to, and desecration of, the tricolour.
Asifa Banu, an eight-year-old Bakarwal girl had gone missing on January 10 from her home in the Rassana village of the Kathua district, and her body had been found on January 17, after which the police arrested one minor boy.
Two Special Police Officers, Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar were taken into custody subsequently when with mounting
Bakarwal protests over the slow pace of the police investigation, the government first ordered a magisterial probe and later handed the case to the Crime Branch.
According to police authorities, the medical examination of the victim has confirmed that child had been subjected to rape, and even drugged so as to prevent her from calling for help. with inputs from KNS.
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