Skip to main content

J&K: BJP in fix as leader seeks release of cop accused in rape, murder of 8-year old after holding right-wing rally

By Our Representative
The rape and murder of eight-year-old nomadic girl, Asifa Bano of Hiranagar town in Kathua district, mid-January is blowing into a full-blown political controversy engulfing BJP, a partner in the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) government, following a Hindu Ekta Manch (HEK) rally last week seeking the release of a special police officer (SPO) arrested for the gruesome act.
The demonstration, which took place from Ghagwal to Hiranagar in Kathua area last Friday, was led by state BJP general secretary Vijay Sharma, with people holding the tricolour in their hand, and shouting "Bharat mata ki jay", with local dailies carrying photographs showing J&K personnel providing an "escort" to a section of the rally.
Sharma, has opposed the arrest of the accused, SPO Deepak Khajuria, saying he has been "falsely implicated", even as hailing the "5,000 strong rally", saying the HEK was formed to "defend people from police harassment”, another BJP leader, general secretary (Organization) Ashok Koul, has said there should be "exemplary punishment" for SPO.
Sharma, significantly, not only headed the HEK march, but is also state party general secretary. Pointing towards HEK's links with the BJP, he reportedly said, "Members from BJP and other parties have come together under the banner of Ekta Manch". Koul, on the other hand, even as calling for thorough investigation , said HEK's protest was its own decision, after the "locals" alleged that police had framed the SPO, and the BJP had nothing to do with it.
Distancing itself from partial BJP support for the SPO, J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, tweeted that she was "appalled by the marches and protests in defense of the recently apprehended rapist in Kathua", asserting, she was "horrified by their use of our national flag in the demonstration", calling it "nothing short of desecration".
According to the police, Khajuria and a minor boy, who has also been detained, were responsible for the ghastly crime which was discovered after a badly mutilated body was recovered from the Rassana forest in Kathua on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses.
Sources have been quoted as saying that Khajuria threatened the boy that he would kill his parents if he told anybody about the incident, adding, the investigation by the Crime Branch of J&K police showed that the accused initially administered her a locally available intoxicant. Later they gave her diazepam regularly so that she wouldn’t scream for help and catch attention of passersby.
The sources further said, the accused had held the girl captive for seven days before murdering her in a brutal manner, adding, the police officials had identified the drug store where the accused had purchased drugs. Interestingly, Khajuria was also part of the police team that had “searched” for Asifa after she went missing on January 10.
Meanwhile, well-known state daily "Greater Kashmir",
has editorially accused the rally in Kathua in support of the accused as "the new low in the communal turn that the politics of the state has taken in recent years, notwithstanding the argument that the PDP-BJP coalition has prevented the communal polarization in the state."
"The rally was led by HEK headed by the BJP state secretary. The protesters demanding the release of the accused were carrying the tricolour to lend legitimacy to their demand. This forced the Chief Minister to tweet her shock at the development", adding, Kathua BJP MLA Deepak Sharma visited the area, but "held deliberations with the people of one community only."

Comments

TRENDING

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.