Congress president Rahul Gandhi on 12 April, Thursday broke his silence on the gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and said "what have we become if we allow politics to interfere with such unimaginable brutality perpetrated on an innocent child?"
“How can anyone protect the culprits of such evil? ” Gandhi wrote on Twitter.
The child from the Bakarwal Muslim community had disappeared from near her home in the forests next to Rasana village in Kathua on 10 January. A week later, her body was found in the same area.
Earlier in the day, Union minister V K Singh said "we as humans" had failed the eight-year-old girl. Expressing distress over the tragedy, perhaps the first reaction from a BJP minister, the MoS in the External Affairs Ministry said, “she will not be denied justice.”
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said her government will not allow law to be obstructed and justice will be delivered in the rape-and-murder case of the eight-year-old.
Opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, however, lashed out at the chief minister for not taking any action against the two BJP ministers who had attended a rally held in support of the persons accused in the case.
"What rubbish! They are HER ministers, not the Hon(ourable) PM’s. The way for her to express her displeasure is to sack them in Jammu not come & leak her alleged displeasure in Delhi," Omar wrote in a tweet.
On Monday, lawyers in Kathua had tried to prevent the Crime Branch from filing the chargesheet in the case. The chargesheet revealed the chilling details of how the girl was kidnapped, drugged, and raped inside a place of worship before being killed.
The chargesheet said abduction, rape and killing of the girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority community from the area.