The two BJP ministers, Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Parkash Ganga, who had joined the rallies in support of the accused in the gangrape and murder of a eight-year-old girl in Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday submitted their resignations to state party president Sat Sharma. Chaudhary Lal Singh served as the minister for forest in the BJP-PDP government in the state while Chander Parkash Ganga held the ministry for commerce and industries.
“Both have submitted their resignations to the state party president Sat Sharma,” said BJP’s state chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi, adding that it is now the party’s call to take a decision on them.
“It is a simple resignation letter, but they have done it to save party from the adverse publicity going on in the media about their publicly supporting the Hindu Ekta Manch who have been demanding shifting of investigations into the girl’s rape and murder case from state’s Crime Branch to CBI,” he said. “However, neither the party supported the Manch nor ministers had supported their agitation except telling the agitators that they will take up their demand for CBI probe in the government,” he added.
When we met people they put forward a demand of CBI inquiry, we had simply put it across being people’s representatives. Now, such a perception is being created that I deemed it fit to tender my resignation (as J&K Minister): Lal Singh #JammuAndKashmir #KathuaRapeCase pic.twitter.com/2NRfNBBsYM
— ANI (@ANI) April 13, 2018
Both the ministers had on April 4 attended an event organised by Hindu Ekta Manch, an outfit that has been protesting against the arrests in the case. Both of them had addressed the rally and called the police action against the rape accused as ‘jungle raj’.
Opposition National Conference and the Congress had demanded that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti sack the two ministers.
Earlier in the day, BJP national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi had said that the two ministers were “misled”. “They should not have protested. They should have ideally not commented until an investigation was conducted. The J&K police conducted a thorough investigation and have arrested the accused,” she said.
The minor girl, who belonged to the nomadic Bakerwal Muslim community, had disappeared from near her home in the forests next to Rasana village in Kathua, 90 km from here, on January 10. A week later, her body was found in the same area, and medical examination pointed towards sexual assault.
The rape and murder has sent shockwaves in the country with politicians, celebrities, and sportspersons voicing their outrage over the incident. Chilling details of the case have come to light and there is a clamour to hand out the maximum punishment to the guilty.
The state government entrusted the enquiry to crime branch who arrested eight people including a police sub inspector, police head constable, two special police officers, a former revenue official, his son, a juvenile and his friend in the matter. It has also filed charge sheet against them in the court in Kathua.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence over the rape incident that has shocked the nation. Modi said that no criminal will be spared and daughters will get justice. He also said that such incidents shake our sensibilities. “I want to assure the nation that no criminal will be spared. Justice will be done. Our daughters will get justice,” he said.