As demand for CBI probe into the Kathua rape and murder case is growing, the Centre on Tuesday said it has no objection to the handing over of the case to the premier investigative agency, provided the state government comes out with a reference. “As far as we are concerned, we don’t have any problem or objection to hand over the case to the CBI. If the state government comes out with a reference, we will hand over the case to the agency today itself,” Union Minister Jitendra Singh said.
He added that the court was another option through which the case could go to the CBI. “As per my knowledge, a petition (for a CBI probe) is pending there,” he said. Singh’s remark came a day after the Supreme Court sought Jammu & Kashmir government’s reply on the plea for CBI probe into the matter.
An eight-year-old girl was kidnapped on January 10 and her body was found on January 17 in the Kathua district. During investigation, the state police’s crime branch alleged she was drugged and repeatedly raped before being killed. Eight persons, including a juvenile, were arrested in connection with the crime and their trial began on Monday in a court, where they pleaded not guilty and sought a narco analysis test.
Many people in Kathua, including the families of the accused, have been demanding a CBI probe into the incident, which was, however, rejected by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti last month after two BJP ministers, Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, met her and raised the demand.
Both the ministers later resigned over their participation in a rally in support of people arrested in connection with rape and murder case. On Monday, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra accepted their resignations. Lal Singh on Tuesday led a rally in support of CBI probe into the incident and called for the resignation of J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti for her “failure” to address the issue.
The former forest minister said the chief minister had failed to understand the popular sentiment and was yet to seek a CBI probe into the brutal incident. It is her (Mehbooba Mufti’s) biggest failure. If she has wisdom and conscience, she should resign, Singh said.
“If two ministers can sacrifice their posts in the interest of peace, those who are actually responsible for creating such an atmosphere should listen to their conscience,” he said targeting the PDP leader.