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BJP presence in rally defending rape accused policeman puts PDP in a spot

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As the State Crime Branch was preparing to submit its report in the rape-and-murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu, the presence of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party Ministers at a function of the Hindu Ekta Manch, a body defending an accused policeman, has put coalition partner Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a tight corner.

Senior BJP Ministers Chowdhary Lal Singh and Chandra Prakash attended the rally.

of the Manch in Kathua on Thursday.

J&K Industries Minister Prakash, in his address to the Manch, criticised the Crime Branch action.

The Manch was constituted immediately after Special Police Officer Deepak Khujaria, 28, was held in the rape and murder of the girl from a nomad tribe.

The girl went missing in the second week of January and her body was found on January 17 in the forests near Rasana, Hiranagar.

Preliminary police reports suggested she was “abducted and raped.”

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti handed over the case to the Crime Branch on January 23. The Crime Branch, sources said, has “closed in on the accused and established their motives too.”

The Manch, however, demanded the case to be investigated by the CBI, which was also supported by Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh during his recent visit to J&K.

“It was shameful of BJP Ministers to have participated in the rally in favour of the accused. It’s equally shameful for the government. This is aimed at polarising people,” said National Conference general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar.

“If the Chief Minister has any conscience left, she must take action against these Ministers,” said Mr. Sagar.

The participation of the BJP Ministers in the Manch rally and demand for a CBI investigation has irked the Gujjar Bakerwal Youth Conference, a body campaigning for justice to the victim family. “These two Ministers should resign instead of supporting the accused,” GBYC State secretary Zahid Parvez Chowdhary.

State Congress president G.A. Mir criticised Ms. Mufti for allowing her Ministers to question the Crime Branch.

“We are worried by the BJP antics,” said a PDP leader on condition of anonymity.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 11:13:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bjp-presence-in-rally-defending-rape-accused-policeman-puts-pdp-in-a-spot/article22911530.ece

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