Amid a nationwide outrage over the rape and murder of a minor girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua, BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa, Nandkumar Singh Chauhan, has given a bizarre theory, saying Pakistan is to be blamed for the communalisation of the case. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the BJP’s fast on Thursday, he said that there could be involvement of Pakistani agents in creating unrest. Calling the deceased girl a daughter of Hindustan, he said that if ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans are raised in Kashmir, then ‘it must be Pakistani agents who have come here to create differences among us’.
Explaining his logic further, the MP said that there are not even 1% Hindus in Kashmir. He said that ‘helpless’ Hindus are living in fear and they can’t even speak. “How can they raise Jai Shri Ram slogans?” he asked.
A report in The Times of India quoted him as saying that it was Pakistan-backed militants who raped and murdered the girl. “They have a motive to instigate communal sentiments and provoke Hindus and Muslims against each other,” he said.
So far, eight persons including mastermind Sanji Ram have been charged with abduction, rape and murder of the 8-year-old girl in Kathua’s Rasana village in January. The chargesheet has revealed that the girl was held in a temple, drugged, gangraped and later killed. She was strangled with her scarf. Also, a stone was slammed on her head to make sure she was dead. Her body was dumped in a nearby forest. Police said that this was done to instill a sense of fear in the Bakerwal community. Police has also charged Sanji Ram with bribing local police officials, including a Sub-Inspector and a Head Constable, to destroy evidence.
The incident attained communal colour after the revelation that the accused persons are Hindus and the victim a Muslim, with a group of lawyers in Jammu protesting in solidarity with the suspects and reportedly demanding their release. Two ministers from the ruling BJP had also attended the march organised by Hindu Ekta Manch. The ministers were Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga. On Wednesday, lawyers in Kathua demonstrated against the police and tried to prevent police from filing a chargesheet. The Jammu Bar Association has now demanded a CBI probe into the case.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has assured that proper procedures are followed by the police and justice will be delivered to the girl. She said that law will not be obstructed by the irresponsible actions and statements of a group of people.