The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Jammu and Kashmir unit on Friday released a video of an advocate criticising the Crime Branch’s investigation into the alleged rape and the murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district. The BJP’s information technology cell also called on people to share the video, titled “A big expose on Kathua facts”, The Indian Express reported.
The video features advocate Monika Arora, who makes allegations citing observations to prove that the investigation was flawed. Arora’s team backs the “demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry”. In the video, Arora also questions how the child’s body was found so easily and in such proximity to the accused’s house while citing that the “facts did not add up”.
Arora was part of an “independent fact-finding team of five” that visited Jammu to analyse the case, The Indian Express reported. The group based its report on the testimonies of families of the accused, their lawyer Ankur Sharma and the Jammu Bar Association whose associates, the Kathua Bar Association, had allegedly attempted to stop the state police from filing the chargesheet in court.
BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir spokesperson Sunit Sethi said the party had uploaded the video on the website after it was submitted to Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Dr Jitendra Singh. “However, it does not mean that we are accepting the report,’’ Sethi said.
Singh told The Indian Express that “the central government had nothing to do with it [the report]” after posting a photo of him accepting the report on Facebook.
The video triggers speculation over the future of the BJP’s alliance with the ruling People’s Democratic Party government that has supported the state police investigation into the case. It comes after two of BJP ministers resigned from the Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet after outrage over their participation in a rally in support of an accused. Later, Nirmal Singh, who had backed the Crime Branch inquiry, stepped down as deputy chief minister while his successor Kavinder Gupta described the case as a “minor incident”.