Nirmal Singh received a strong letter from the Corps Commander of the Army’s 16 Corps, Lt General Saranjeet Singh, telling him to halt construction on the plot since it was illegal and a security risk to the ammunition depot and to the personnel who lived there.
Referring to the Army’s concerns over the construction, Omar said: “The truth is that had these (Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta) been Kashmir-based politicians, and the Army had said this about us in the Valley, BJP people would have been screaming from the skies.”
An Army officer at Nagrota told The Indian Express that Lt General Saranjeet Singh was constrained to write directly to Nirmal Singh because “the local administration was not responding to the Army’s repeated requests to stop construction work.”
General Rawat said he is perturbed by the killings. “We don’t enjoy it. But if you want to fight us, then we will fight you with all our force. Kashmiris have to understand that the SFs (security forces) haven’t been so brutal — look at Syria and Pakistan."
On April 13, the Supreme Court took serious note of the conduct of the lawyers at the court, and sought explanations from the BCI, J&K Bar Council, Jammu High Court Bar Association and Kathua District Bar Association.
Omar was referring to J&K Tourism Minister and CM Mehbooba Mufti’s brother Tassaduq’s interview in The Indian Express where he had said that the PDP and the BJP “were supposed to be partners in rebuilding” of J&K but “due to the non-fulfilling of commitments, we have ended up being partners in a crime...”
Much before the story of the gangrape and murder of the eight-year-old from Kathua shook governments in Delhi and J&K, a 29-year-old lawyer-activist had become the face of the agitation seeking justice for the girl.
The gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old girl has cleaved open several faultlines in the state. Hindu versus Muslim. Hindu-majority Jammu-Kathua-Samba-Udhampur versus Muslim-majority Kashmir valley-Chenab valley-Pir Panjal.
Although Mufti is not the party’s official spokesman, his views carry weight because besides being a minister in the PDP-BJP government, he is also son of the late PDP patron and former CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and brother of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
President of Jammu Bar Association B S Slathia is spearheading a civil society campaign against the J&K Police’s Crime Branch investigation into the rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomad girl in Kathua in January.
The J&K Police, sources said, want the Crime Branch case to be represented by Bhupinder Singh and Harminder Singh. While Bhupinder Singh is Chief Prosecuting Officer in the J&K Police prosecution wing, Harminder Singh is Chief Prosecuting Officer, Samba.
The chargesheet states that Ram masterminded the conspiracy to kidnap and, later rape and kill the girl. It states that he made SPO Khajuria and the juvenile a “part of the conspiracy and assigned them tasks separately and individually”.
According to police, the Army cooperated in the probe and allowed investigators to record statements of the Army personnel. Awantipora SSP Mohammad Zahid said a SIT, led by a DySP, completed the probe two weeks ago.