Kathua rape and murder: Mehbooba Mufti thanks ‘national leadership’
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The Jammu and Kashmir ruling coalition partners, BJP and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), closed ranks on Saturday on the Kathua rape-and-murder case, with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti thanking “the country’s political leadership.”
“The country’s political leadership, the judiciary, the media and the civil society’s unflinching resolve for ensuring justice in this heinous crime would go a long way in restoring people’s confidence in the institutions and reinforcing the sense of justice in J&K,” she said.
The Chief Minister, who also holds the Home portfolio, terminated the services of four policemen named among the eight accused. She also wrote to the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, requesting that a special fast track court be set up to conclude the trial in three months in the case.
The BJP and the PDP held separate meetings of MLAs.
The meeting of PDP legislators and senior party leaders in Srinagar “praised the role played by the BJP in the Kathua case”.
She used the occasion to plead to the Centre “to wake up to Kashmir cauldron”.
“Time has come to fully retrieve the people of the State from the morass, with their honor and dignity intact, through a series of confidence building measure,” Ms. Mufti said.
In Jammu, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, presided over a meeting of party legislators and forwarded the resignations of two BJP Ministers, Chowdhary Lal Singh and Chadar Praksah Ganga, to Ms. Mufti for her final consideration. He ruled out any threat to the ruling coalition.
“The resignation was to address the fears of not only its ally PDP and the people of Jammu and Kashmir but also the entire nation,” said Mr. Madhav. He, however said that the BJP wants the PDP “to withdraw the directive of the Tribal Affairs Department on encroachments by nomads in forest land”. On the CBI probe, Mr. Madhav said, “It is for the court to decide...We too want that real accused be punished.”
Meanwhile, Talib Hussain, the lawyer who fought the case, has lodged a complaint with the police that he was attacked in Udhampur last night.