JAMMU & KASHMIR
A year after the gruesome rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday attacked her then coalition partner BJP for staging protests in favour of the suspected rapists.
“Sadly, instead of condemning such an incident, BJP lawmakers staged protests in favour of the rapists. Even a crime like rape was communalised & passions were stoked to justify it.,’’ Mufti wrote in a Twitter post.
In January last year, the police recovered the child’s body from Kathua’s Rasana village. Police probe found that the girl had been drugged, raped and then killed. The SIT arrested seven suspects including policemen . A charge sheet filed by the crime branch alleged that the girl had been abducted, drugged and held in a temple where she was raped repeatedly because the suspects wanted to scare the Bakarwal community, to which she belonged. The case took a political turn when members of the right-wing Hindu Ekta Manch and the BJP organised a rally to demand release of the suspects. Reacting to Mufti’s claims, BJP spokesman Altaf Thakur said PDP was raising the issue to gain sympathy. “After assembly was dissolved PDP is regularly giving statements against BJP,” he said.