crimes against children

Kathua rape case: BJP MLA leads rally to demand chief minister’s resignation, CBI inquiry

Chaudhary Lal Singh said he resigned as a minister last week only because of the negative perception that the media created.

A Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, who resigned from the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet last week, on Tuesday led a rally to demand an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua. Former Forest Minister Chaudhary Lal Singh said he resigned only because of the perception that the media had created, PTI reported.

“The fight is for justice and it will be done by identifying real culprits,” Singh said at Satwari Chowk in Jammu, according to Greater Kashmir. He said people living far from the state were misinterpreting the case without knowing facts.

Lal Singh was one of the two ministers – the other being Chander Prakash Ganga – who resigned on Friday amid massive outrage over their participation in a demonstration in support of an accused in the case.

In his rally on Tuesday, Singh demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for her “failure” to resolve the case. He said Mufti had failed to understand the popular sentiment and had yet to seek a CBI inquiry into the incident.

“It is her biggest failure,” he said. “If she has wisdom and conscience, she should resign. If two ministers can sacrifice their posts in the interest of peace, those who are actually responsible for creating such an atmosphere should listen to their conscience.”

Singh said he would not have resigned if the media had not created a negative perception about him.

“We resigned because the perception created by the national media was not good,” he said. “It portrayed the situation in a wrong way, which was not the case at all. It was portrayed that the entire Jammu region was taking the side of rapists. It created problems for our prime minister and the country. So, we preferred to resign.”

Singh also sought a narco analysis test for the accused in the case, News18 reported. The eight accused in the case had pleaded not guilty on Monday, and asked a court for a narco test.

Meanwhile, Union minister and Udhampur MP Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday that the Centre has no problem in handing over the case to CBI. “If the state government gives us reference today, we will hand over the case to CBI today itself,” he told ANI. “The other way is through courts, as per my knowledge a petition is pending there.”

Governor NN Vohra urged Mufti on Tuesday to ensure the prosecution of the accused in the case and said that lumpen elements should not be allowed to disturb law and order, ANI reported.

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