Srinagar: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Singh, who had resigned from the state cabinet over the Kathua rape and murder case, on Tuesday led a rally in support of CBI probe into the incident and called for the resignation of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for her “failure” to address the issue.
Singh and industries minister Chander Parkash Ganga had resigned on April 13 over their participation in an earlier rally in support of the accused in the gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district.
The former forest minister said the chief minister had failed to understand the popular sentiment and was yet to seek a CBI probe into the brutal incident. It is her (Mehbooba Mufti’s) biggest failure. If she has wisdom and conscience, she should resign, Singh told reporters here.
“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,” he said targeting the PDP leader. Singh also said that he would press for CBI probe into the incident.
Asked about his decision to resign from the state government, Singh blamed the media for “creating a perception”, thus forcing him to take such a step. “We resigned because the perception created by the national media was not good. It portrayed the situation in a wrong way, which was not the case at all. It was portrayed that the entire Jammu region was siding with rapists,” he claimed. There was no need to resign had the media not created such a perception, the BJP leader said. “It (the perception) created problems for our prime minister and country. It was not good. So, we preferred to resign. We have not done anything wrong,” Singh added.
The brutal gang rape and murder of the girl from the nomadic Bakerwal community and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “silence” on the issue were also written about in an editorial of the New York Times.
In the editorial titled ‘Modi’s Long Silence as Women in India Are Attacked’, the NYT editorial board said Modi tweets frequently and considers himself a “talented orator” yet he “loses his voice when it comes to speaking out about the dangers faced by women and minorities who are frequent targets of the nationalist and communal forces that are part of the base of his Bharatiya Janata Party”.