J-K Governor accepts resignations of 2 BJP ministers

Jammu, Apr 16: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra today accepted the resignations of the two BJP ministers, who had participated in a rally in support of the people arrested in connection with the rape-and-murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district.
A Raj Bhavan communication said the governor, on the advice of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, accepted the resignations of Forest Minister Lal Singh and Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga.
Mehbooba, who received the resignations of the two ministers from state BJP chief Sat Sharma yesterday, had immediately accepted and forwarded the same to the Governor for completing the procedural formalities.
With these resignations, the number of ministers in the state government has come down to 22, including nine from the BJP.
There are three vacancies in the council of ministers as the PDP had last month removed its finance minister Haseeb Drabu unceremoniously.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, who had held consultations with legislators of the party here on Saturday, had announced that the resignations would be forwarded for further action thereby ending a simmering political crisis in the state.
Both Ganga and Singh had participated in a rally on March 1 after the crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police had arrested the nephew of a caretaker of a ‘Devisthan’ (temple) in connection with the kidnapping and rape of the girl, belonging to a nomadic tribe.
During investigation, the police arrested the caretaker and alleged he was the mastermind behind the kidnapping, rape and killing of the girl from a nomadic tribe. The police claimed the motive behind the crime was to terrify the nomadic community and drive it out of the village.
The girl was kidnapped on January 10 and her body was found on January 17. During investigation, the crime branch alleged she was drugged and repeatedly raped before being killed by crushing her head with stones.
Both the ministers had maintained that they had been sent by the party to Kathua to understand the ground situation. The two ministers were present in the rally in support of the rape-accused where the tricolour was also waved.