Other States

BJP, Congress condemn Kathua rape

National shame: A protest against the Kathua and Unnao rape cases in New Delhi on Thursday.  

After days of silence over the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old tribal girl in Jammu and attempts by lawyers to block the case, the Congress and the BJP spoke out on Thursday condemning the incident, after public outrage had mounted through the day.

In the first reaction in days from a BJP Minister, Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. (Retd.) V.K. Singh tweeted: “With what happened to the eight-year-old girl in Kathua, it seems being a human is an insult, and animals are better. The criminals should be punished so severely that we can make an example of them for generations.”

Expressing distress over the tragedy Mr. Singh said, “We have failed her as humans.”

Speaking to The Hindu, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, party in-charge for Jammu and Kashmir, said the party was “fully with the State government on its action in the case.” He dismissed any suggestion that the party had supported obstruction of justice in the case.

“We passed a resolution in the State executive meeting of the BJP last week itself that we want the culprits to be punished, justice to be done to the girl, and innocents not to be harassed,” Mr. Madhav said.

Sources in the Jammu BJP also said that last week, Mr. Madhav had made a flying visit to the area. Following the visit, Vijay Sharma, a State party secretary, who heads the Hindu Ekta Manch in the area which has been demanding a CBI enquiry into the case and leading protests in favour of the accused, has been removed from the party.

Rahul tweets

After days of silence, Congress president Rahul Gandhi also tweeted on Thursday: “How can anyone protect the culprits of such evil? What happened at #Kathua is a crime against humanity. It cannot go unpunished. What have we become if we allow politics to interfere with such unimaginable brutality perpetrated?”

‘Debar lawyers’

Sushmita Dev, chief of the Congress’ women’s wing, also spoke on the issue on her way to Lucknow to attend a dharna against the Yogi Adityanath government’s handling of the Unnao gangrape of a minor. “More shocking is the fact that lawyers are obstructing legal action. They should be debarred,” Ms. Dev said.

However, the Congress, like the Jammu Bar Association has demanded a CBI enquiry into the case but says none has the right to obstruct the processes of law.

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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 11:57:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bjp-congress-condemn-kathua-rape/article23516596.ece

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