Newly-appointed Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta on Monday described the murder and alleged rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district as a “small incident” that should not be given much importance, local channel Excelsior News reported.

When a reporter asked Gupta if the Kathua case was one of the reasons for the state cabinet reshuffle, the deputy chief minister said, “This is a small incident. We hope this kind of thing never happens again, and that the child gets justice. There are many challenges before the government, I don’t think the Rasana case should be given much weight.”

Gupta, who took oath on Monday, refused to take a stance on the demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the case. “The matter is in court. The court will decide on the demand,” he said.

The child’s father has requested the Supreme Court to allow the trial to be moved from a local court in Kathua to Chandigarh. On Thursday, the Supreme Court agreed to consider the plea filed by the two accused seeking a CBI inquiry. The court also asked the police to provide protection to the girl’s family, and stayed the trial in Kathua till May 7.