Mehbooba asks New Delhi to wake up to Kashmir cauldron

Srinagar, Apr 14: Two controversial BJP ministers, who participated in a rally in support of the people arrested for the rape-cum-murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in Kathua, today exited from the PDP-BJP alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir, ending a simmering political crisis in the state.
A much-relieved Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for defusing the situation and said the unfortunate incident had brought the people of the state and the rest of the country “together”.
She said a sense of justice had been reinforced in the state and urged “New Delhi to wake up to the Kashmir cauldron”.
Both the alliance partners — the BJP and the PDP — had separate legislature party meetings in Srinagar and Jammu to discuss the situation arising out of the polarisation in the state over the rape-cum-murder of the girl after some leaders of the lesser-known Hindu Ekta Manch were arrested in connection with the case.
Mehbooba Mufti, who chaired the party’s meeting in Srinagar, thanked the prime minister and the national media and said the unity in ranks was an emotional reach out to protest against the heinous crimes.
She said the unfortunate incident changed the discourse and brought the people of the state and the rest of the country together.
The chief minister said that she was in constant touch with BJP president Amit Shah and Madhav as well as Home Minister Rajnath Singh. “I want to thank people of Jammu for standing united against the gory crime,” she said.
Meanwhile ruling PDP today thanked the countrymen for standing with Jammu and Kashmir over the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl from Bakerwal community in Kathua district.
After a legislature party meeting here, senior PDP leader and Public Works Minister Naeem Akhtar told reporters that the party hopes for the same kind of support from the country on other issues in the state.
“We thank people of entire country including the intelligentsia and civil society for standing with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the case.
“The way all the citizens of the country came together thinking of her (victim) as their own daughter and raised their voice, the way they helped uphold the credibility of the state’s investigation, which was being questioned, we thought the party will fail its duty if we do not express our gratitude to the people of our great country,” Akhtar said.
The meeting was held at Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s residence.
“This case became an issue after the investigations of the Crime Branch led to arrest of the accused persons and a chargesheet was filed before the court of law. It is unlike other cases like Jessica Lal murder case where people had to come out on streets demanding arrest of the accused persons,” he said.
Akthar said the PDP wants that the emotional bond created between Jammu and Kashmir and rest of the country due to the Kathua case to grow stronger.
The PDP also thanked the BJP and people of Jammu for “doing their bit” in the case.
“We appreciate our alliance partner, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Ram Madhav and Amit Shah for their support and taking resignation of the two ministers about whom the media said that their role was not positive. I think this is also a confidence building measure and if the BJP and the PDP resolve their issues in the same manner, then I feel there is no substitute of this alliance,” he added.
Two BJP ministers — Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash — had put their party in a tight spot by attending a rally on March 1 after the Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police had arrested the nephew of a caretaker of a ‘devisathan’ (temple) in connection with the kidnapping and rape of the little girl.
Both the minister today exited from the PDP-BJP alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir.
Asked about reports of the chief minister writing to Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court for setting up of a fast track court, Akhtar said it is an administrative matter and he cannot comment on that.
“But we will try to give justice to the victim as soon as possible and take stringent action against the perpetrators,” he said.
On opposition National Conference demand for shifting the case out of Kathua, Akhtar said, “Whenever it is felt, the state government along with the court will take whatever steps are needed to provide uninterrupted and unobstructed justice.”