Our ministers are not pro-rapists, BJP counters allegations over Kathua rape and murder case

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday attempted to douse the controversy that erupted after two of its ministers in Jammu and Kashmir attended a rally supporting the accused in the Kathua rape and murder case. Defending the leaders, BJP’s Ram Madhav said: “On 1 March, a huge crowd gathered in Kathua and our ministers went there to pacify them. A misunderstanding took place. They should have been more alert. Their intention was not to hamper the investigation. The allegations on them being pro-rapists aren’t true.”

The defence comes a day after the two ministers – Chander Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh – resigned from the state Cabinet. Madhav said that the BJP will forward resignations of two ministers to chief minister Mehbooba Mufti for further action.

Dismissing any strain in the PDP-BJP alliance, the BJP National General Secretary said that there was no threat and both parties are working in coordination and will ensure justice for girl and punishment to culprits.

“We will speak to our party legislature and also to the two ministers who have submitted their resignations,” Madhav, who is also the BJP incharge for Jammu and Kashmir, said. “Things would be discussed and deliberations will be held about the latest political developments in the state.”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met party legislators and senior ministers in Srinagar to discuss the future course of action on the Kathua rape and murder case of an eight-year-old minor girl. She is likely to request the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to constitute a fast-track trial court to deliver a sentence in the case.

The Chief Minister is also slated to announced the termination of the accused police officers against whom a chargesheet has been filed.

She had earlier expressed her anger over the incident while saying that the state government will bring a new law to make the death penalty mandatory for those who rape minors. She also called for exemplary punishment for those responsible for the crime.

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