Kashmir chief's deputy backs BJP ministers 'who supported Kathua rape accused'

BJP ministers Choudhary Lal Singh and Chader Prakash Ganga on Friday submitted their resignations to the party.

Chaudhary Lal Singh, forest minister and Chander Parkash Ganga, industries minister had, in March addressed rallies held by one Hindu Ekta Manch in March in support of the accused. The two were under fire for participating in rallies supporting the rape accused.

Stating that people in the country are watching as to what action Chief Minister will take against the Cabinet colleagues, as that, the duo were fully responsible for instigating people to polarize the situation, which is not only serious, but a shameful act, how can anyone even think about giving protection to killers and rapists, G.A. Mir said. "The Ministers had told the party that they were not there to take side but to assure that the culprits will be punished". The opposition parties are putting pressure on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to sack the two ministers.

During initial investigations, the police arrested a juvenile.

He, however, said that those who are not satisfied with the investigation can go wherever they like.

The charge sheet has revealed that the girl was held in a temple, drugged, gang-raped and later killed.

An eight-year-old had disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua in the Jammu region on January 10. Her body was later found in a nearby forest.

A minor girl was raped and then the accused had poured kerosene on her and burnt her to death, the BJP leader said and named an accused - Zakir Hussain - who was arrested.

To a question on whether she highlighted the Assam case because of the accused's religion, she rejected such a notion and said she was taking a dig at those who were only highlighting the Kathua and Unnao cases and maintaining a silence on the other cases.

Later, the case was transferred to the Jammu and Kashmir Police's Crime Branch.

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