Jammu: Two BJP ministers, who were at the centre of a storm over their participation in a rally of lawyers, which a large section of the media projected as a rally in support of the accused in the Kathua rape and murder case, today submitted their resignations to the party’s State president Sat Sharma. “Yes, the two ministers have submitted their resignation to me,” Sharma said.
He said a legislature party meeting of the BJP is scheduled to be held tomorrow in Jammu where the future course of action on this issue will be discussed.
“We are going to discuss this and other issues at our legislature party meeting tomorrow,” Sharma said when asked if he was going to forward the resignations to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Jammu & Kashmir Forest Minister Chaudhary Lal Singh and Industries Minister Chander Prakash had attended the lawyers’ rally.
Opposition National Conference and the Congress had demanded that the chief minister sack the two ministers.
The rape and killing of the girl, who belonged to the nomadic Bakerwal Muslim community, has become a national issue. The gory details of the heinous crime surfaced following the filing of the charges.
The victim had disappeared from a spot near her house on 10 January. A week later, her body was found in the same area.
A Special Investigation Team, formed to probe the incident, has arrested eight people, including two special police officers (SPOs) and a head constable, who was charged with destroying evidence.
However, an alternative narrative of the crime and the subsequent developments have emerged in the past 24 hours. The lawyers allege that policeman Irfan Wani, a Kashmiri member of the Crime Branch, is notorious for inciting communal passions in the State and that he was once booked for the crime though later acquitted.
The lawyers say they were carrying the National Flag and were chanting “Jai Sri Ram” not to demand an exoneration of the rape accused, but to demand the ouster of the Myanmarese infiltrators. They allege that a large section of the media has misreported their demonstrations by linking two separate, mutually unrelated stories.
The lawyers insist they want justice for the victim in the gang-rape incident and are not fighting for the acquittal of any of the accused. However, they add that the victim wouldn’t get justice until cops like Wani are in the team, who, they fear, would frame some innocent people and let the actual criminals go scot-free. This is why, the BAJ says, it wants an inquiry by the CBI.