Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Kathua rape-murder case: Two BJP ministers resign

As anger was brewing on Kathua gangrape and murder case, two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday submitted their resignations to the party's state chief Sat Sharma. Both the ministers - Industries Minister Chandra Prakash Ganga and Forest Minister Lal Singh had backed the men accused in the Kathua rape case. The two were under fire for participating in rallies supporting the rape accused.

Following intense criticism over the two rape cases-Kathua and Unnao-in states ruled by it, the BJP said on Friday that rumours were spread that it had not condemned or acted swiftly in the cases. The opposition parties are putting pressure on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to sack the two ministers.

He, however, said that those who are not satisfied with the investigation can go wherever they like. "The J&K police conducted a thorough investigation and have arrested the accused", she said.

A minor girl, belonging to the nomadic Bakherwal Muslim community, was abducted from near her home in the forests next to Rassana village Hiranagar tehsil in Kathua district on January 10. The body of the girl was recovered from Rassana forest on January 17 - almost a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area.

The rape and murder has sent shockwaves in the country with politicians, celebrities, and sportspersons voicing their outrage over the incident. Questioning why some cases were being given prominence while others were not, Lekhi said "politicisation" of atrocities against children and women should not happen.

Later, the case was transferred to the Jammu and Kashmir Police's Crime Branch. "The two BJP ministers were misled by a few people", BJP MP and spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi told the media.

The prime suspect in the case has also been charged with bribing local police officials, including a Sub-Inspector and a Head Constable, to destroy evidence.

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