Kathua Rape: A Year On, Mehbooba Mufti Blames BJP For Protests

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called out BJP for portraying the crime a communal issue.

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A year after the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday, 17 January, hit out at Bharatiya Janata Party leaders for staging protests in favour of the accused.

“Today marks a year since the horrific rape & murder of an eight year old girl in Kathua. Sadly , instead of condemning such a gruesome incident, BJP lawmakers staged protests in favour of the rapists. Even a crime like rape was communalised & passions were stoked to justify it,” the Peoples Democratic Party chief wrote on Twitter.

The Jammu and Kashmir coalition government fell last year after BJP pulled out of its alliance with PDP, citing deteriorating law and order situation among other reasons.

In another tweet, Mufti said: “As a Chief Minister, I tried my best to ensure justice was done. Can only hope that the accused are punished severely so that no other girl has to endure such pain and trauma.”


Last year, a girl belonging to the Bakarwal community – a Muslim nomadic tribe – was drugged, raped and murdered inside a temple. Her body was recovered from Kathua’s Rasana village.

A Special Investigating Team (SIT) had arrested seven people in connection with the case, including prime accused Sanji Ram, the head priest of the temple, and several policemen who were accused of taking money to cover up the incident.

The charge sheet filed by the SIT stated that the girl had been drugged and repeatedly raped as the accused wanted to send a message to the Bakarwal community. Despite the grave accusations against the suspects, some members of the Hindu Ekta Manch and two BJP ministers Lal Singh Chaudhary and Chander Prakash had organised a protest rally to demand the accused’s release.

BJP Hits Back at Mufti

In response to Mufti’s statement, BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur said that this was PDP’s way to gain sympathy from the masses, Hindustan Times reported.

“After the (J&K) Assembly was dissolved, PDP is regularly giving statements against BJP,” he said.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times)

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Topics:  BJP   Jammu and Kashmir   PDP-BJP Alliance 

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