Politics over Kathua rape-murder case continues in J&K

Members of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association display banners and placrads as they block a road during protest march against the Kathua rape and murder case, in Srinagar on Monday. PTI

Despite Supreme Court ruling out handing over the investigation into the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua from the crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police to the CBI, the politics over the heinous crime continues in the state.

Former minister and BJP MLA Choudhary Lal Singh, who was forced to resign last week for rallying in support of the accused in the horrific rape-and-murder of Muslim nomad girl, began a march from Jammu to Kathua to demand a CBI probe and a narco test in the case.

Singh’s march began a day after Jammu and Kashmir governor accepted his resignation alongwith another BJP minister Prakash Chander Ganga. “The fight is for justice and it will be done by identifying the real culprits,” Singh said while addressing hundreds of his supporters at Satwari Chowk in Jammu. 

The march comes a day after the eight people accused of raping and killing the girl pleaded not guilty and asked the judge for a narco analysis.

The Crime Branch investigation has revealed that the rape and murder were systematic, pre-planned and rooted in religious hatred harboured by Sanji Ram, the mastermind of the crime, against the Muslim nomadic community of Bakarwals. The motive, according to the police, was to create fear among the community and force them to leave.

In Kashmir Valley, protests continued on Tuesday against the gruesome incident with protesters demanding capital punishment for the accused and fast-tracking the trial. Students of various colleges across the Valley staged protests to demand justice for the victim.

Family gets threats

"If the government claims that culprits will be punished, then why is the family of Kathua minor getting threats. The culprits should be hanged till death,” said a girl student.

Traders held a protest demonstration at city centre Lal Chowk to demand justice for the minor victim.

Meanwhile, Governor N N Vohra told Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti that the lumpen elements must not be allowed to disturb law and order.

“During the course of their extensive discussions, the Governor stressed the importance of ensuring that the prosecution of the Kathua rape and murder case proceeded on a day-to-day basis,” an official spokesman said.

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