Mehbooba Mufti Accuses BJP Of Playing Politics On Kathua Rape Case

Mehbooba Mufti accused the BJP state leadership of creating trouble in Jammu and Kashmir.

New Delhi:  Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday and accused the BJP state leadership of creating trouble in Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting came in the wake of growing demands for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI into the gang-rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua.

When Ms Mufti told Mr Singh that the BJP state leaders are trying to foment trouble for her government, the home minister assured her that the BJP is not part of the group out protesting on streets.

State BJP leaders have been demanding a CBI probe into the Kathua gang-rape and murder case. The state police have, however, filed a chargesheet.

“The Home Minister discussed with the chief minister the security situation in the state and how to bring back normalcy,” a senior ministry official told NDTV.

The 8-year-old girl in Kathua was kidnapped on January 10 after which she was allegedly drugged and raped. Her mutilated body was found on January 17. Forensic tests confirmed she was brutalised for a week before she was killed. The Crime Branch investigation is being monitored by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and the probe agency has been submitting status reports to the court.

In January, two BJP ministers in the state government, forest minister Lal Singh and industries minister Chander Prakash Ganga supported a local group, the Hindu Ekta Manch, which took out a rally with the national flag claiming the arrests to be a “targeted attack against Hindus”. Ms Mufti had hit out at them exposing the deep fault lines between PDP and its ally BJP. She had said she was “appalled by the marches and protests in defense of the culprits in Kathua”.

Eight people have been arrested in the case, including two special police officers, a police head constable, a sub inspector, and a juvenile. One of the accused, Sanji Ram — a retired government officer and also the custodian of the “Devasthan”, a religious place in Rasana village where the girl was held captive before she was killed — surrendered to the police.According to crime branch officials, Sanji Ram engineered the rape and murder of the child to drive out Muslim nomad families from Jammu’s Rasana village. He had allegedly “motivated” Deepak Khajuria, a special police officer and the 19-year-old main accused in the case.