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Kathua rape case: J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti accepts resignations of two BJP ministers

BJP leaders Chandra Prakash Ganga and Chaudhary Lal Singh had to resign following accusations of attending the protest march.

Kathua rape case: J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti accepts resignations of two BJP ministers

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday accepted the resignations of two controversial BJP ministers Chandra Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh who had participated in a rally in support of the people arrested in connection with the recent rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in Kathua district.

The resignations of the two ministers were received from BJP state chief Sat Sharma this morning which were immediately accepted and forwarded to Governor NN Vohra for completing the procedural formalities, PTI quoted the J&K Chief Minister's office as saying.  

Both Chandra Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh are BJP ministers who resigned after participating in a rally in support of the culprits in Kathua rape and murder case.

The two BJP leaders have come under Opposition attack for attending the protest march and expressing solidarity to the culprits. Earlier, defending his move, Lal Singh said that he resigned on moral grounds.

"I gave resignation on moral values. If someone is hurt because of me, I have no right to remain in that post, that is why I resigned. I also said that one must live by their conscience, and my conscience did not approve that violence and riots are caused just for the resignation of two ministers," Lal Singh told ANI.

"I have done nothing but I resigned so that there's no violence in the country," he added.

Singh also upheld demands for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the heinous crime, contending that it would bring the truth to the fore.

An eight-year-old minor girl, belonging to the nomadic community, was allegedly abducted, drugged, gang-raped, tortured and killed. After being missing for a week, her body was found on January 17.

The recent investigation into the incident unfolded the details of the crime and the accused were arrested, which triggered a protest march in support of the accused.

A group of lawyers also tried to obstruct the police from filing the chargesheet against the accused.

Meanwhile, the issue triggered a war of words between the BJP which shares power with PDP in J&K and Congress party.

Hitting back at the Congress, the BJP today asked its president Rahul Gandhi to take action against his party's Jammu and Kashmir unit chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir for saying the investigation into the incident 'motivated'.

Addressing a press conference in the national capital, senior BJP leader and Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar questioned Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his inaction against Ghulam Ahmad Mir over his controversial remarks on Kathua rape and murder case.

"Mir had made a statement that the local population thinks that the culprits in the Kathua rape case are still out and the investigation is motivated and they are trying to dilute the case. Mir is trying to politicise the case by instilling doubt in the public's mind about the investigation, " Javadekar said.

"We took action and two of our ministers resigned, but now I want to ask Rahul Ji that he takes out candle march at night, then why does he not take action against his own state president?'' he asked.

During the presser, Javadekar also showed a video-clip of Mir in which he was heard saying, ''Somewhere or the other, someone is being protected and hands are being waved here and there. Local population believes that the investigation is motivated, the real culprit is being let go and they're trying to fulfil their political criteria."

Taking a jibe at the Congress president, Javadekar said, "Rahulji had led a candlelight march at night but why doesn't he take action against his own leader?

"Raising fingers at the leaders of other parties and protecting their own leader is the character of the Congress, " he added. 

Javadekar also demanded senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to apologise to the country, over his former polling agent and Jammu Bar Association President BS Slathia's attempt to obstruct the filing of a chargesheet in the case.

The BJP leader also questioned why Gandhi did not take out any march after the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape. 

"Why was he silent on the atrocities on Dalits and women in an inter-caste violence in Mirchpur village of Haryana during Congress rule," he asked.

He also accused Congress of trying to defame the BJP. 

"The Congress had done nothing in 10 years when it was in power. They are trying to defame the BJP. They can't compete with us in the election, so they are using these tricks," he said.

(With Agency inputs)