Madhav Defends Party Ministers: ‘They Should Have Been Alert’

Jammu—BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday came out in defence of the BJP ministers in Jammu and Kashmir over their alleged participation in a Hindu Ekta Manch march defending the rape accused. Madhav said the two ministers had participated in the rally to pacify the crowd.

Ram Madhav said the allegation on BJP minister being pro-rapists are not true and that the lawmakers had no intention to hamper the investigation in the Kathua rape case.

Madhav said the BJP will forward resignations of the two ministers — Commerce and industries minister Chandra Prakash Ganga and forest minister Chaudhary Lal Singh — to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for further action.

“On March 1, a huge crowd gathered in Kathua and our ministers went there to pacify them. A misunderstanding took place, they should have been more alert. Their intention was not to hamper the investigation. Allegations on them being pro-rapists aren’t true,” news agency ANI quoted Madhav as saying.

A rally was organised by Hindu Ekta Manch in favour of the men accused of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl from the Bakerwal community.

The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister had expressed her displeasure and asked BJP to remove ministers Chandra Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh from their positions.

BJP ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government, Chandra Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh, tendered their resignation on Friday and defended their participation in the rally by saying, “I had gone there, (ministers) Bali (Bhagat) and (Abdul Gani) Kohli had gone to Nowshera and Sunderbani to listen to people. Should we not listen to them? For what are we people’s representatives? Should we allow people to burn the state and die.”

Lal Singh said their primary responsibility was to maintain peace and communal harmony in the state. “Is it fine that state keeps on burning and the people become violent… I do not believe in Hindu-Muslim politics. Everybody is equal for me,” he added.

Ram Madhav, who is also the BJP in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir, said there is no threat to the PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir.

“There is no trouble in the BJP-PDP alliance. We are in touch with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is of the view that the BJP should take a stand on these two ministers and the Prime Minister also advised us to take appropriate action to send a right message to people,” Ram Madhav said.

Ram Madhav Singh further said that the Jammu and Kashmir government will ensure justice for the 8-year-old rape victim and said that culprits should be punished.

The 18-page chargesheet in the Kathua rape case stated that the girl was gangraped inside a temple, where she was confined using sedatives. The accused then strangled and hit her on the head twice with a stone.

He lashed out at the Congress, alleging that it was trying to politicise the issue which should not be done.

“We, including the BJP which is in the government, will ensure justice for the girl and punishment for the culprits,” he said.

Asked about the demand for a CBI probe into the incident, the BJP leader said, “The police has completed the probe and now it is in the court of law. It is for the court to decide.”

Ganga and Singh had hit out at the police for arresting “one or the other person at will” in connection with the rape and killing of the 8-year-old girl in January this year.

Asking why the probe was not being handed over to the CBI, Lal Singh had said, “We too want that the real accused be punished… We have heard you. We will not allow this jungle raj, under which they (police) are picking up people at will, to continue. What kind of investigation are they doing.

State Govt Told To Withdraw ‘Tribal Directive’: Madhav

The Jammu and Kashmir government has been told to withdraw its directive on encroachments by nomads in forest land, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said today.

The issue has been raked by the Bar Association of Jammu and Kashmir High Court as threat to the demography of Jammu.

Earlier this year, the state government had directed the police and district administrations to not provide “police protection” for anti-encroachment drives being carried out by government departments against tribal population without prior approval of the tribal affairs department.

The chief minister also directed that till a formal tribal policy is formulated and issued, tribal population shall not be disturbed, dislocated.

“The directive (of Tribal Affairs department) issued and circulated to different districts must be withdrawn. This we have told the government already,” Madhav told reporters here.

Madhav, who is the party’s general secretary in-charge of the state, was replying to a question about the alleged demographic changes in Jammu due to the settlement of the Rohingyas and tribals on encroached state lands in Jammu city.

“There has been very clear and consistent stand of the BJP on these two issues (deportation of Rohingyas and massive encroachments and settlement on state lands by tribal people),” Madhav said.

The BJP leader said that as far Rohingyas were concerned, Union Home Ministry was seized of the matter and effective steps would be taken “very soon”.

“On those issues, the party (BJP) stand has been consistent”, he said.

The Jammu Development Authority (JDA) and revenue and forest departments are undertaking anti-encroachment drives in large chunk of lands for the past six months. The state government earlier said in the Assembly that 1,510 acres of land had been encroached in the city.

The BAJ has said that the directive was not only giving immunity to encroacher tribals in Jammu but would also encourage more encroachments of Jammu lands.

 

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