Jammu: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Chander Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh, who have submitted their resignations as minister, on Saturday reiterated the demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the rape-and-murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir.
Ganga and Singh submitted their resignations to the BJP’s state president on Friday “to save the image of the prime minister and the party" following a controversy over their presence in a rally in support of the accused. “To safeguard the interest of Jammu, I will not hesitate to fight the government or meet the prime minister personally and reiterate the demand for a CBI probe into the Kathua rape-and-murder case which is the demand of lakhs of people," Ganga told reporters in Jammu on Saturday evening.
Earlier in the day, Singh also sought a CBI probe and said “what is wrong with it. They agency will not indulge in any wrongdoing." However, both the ministers demanded stern and an exemplary punishment to the culprits involved in the incident, with Ganga seeking capital punishment for the accused.
The crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police has submitted a chargesheet in the case against eight accused, including two special police officers and a sub-inspector and a head constable for destroying evidence. The body of the girl was recovered from the Rassana forest in January, a week after she went missing from the area while grazing horses.
Accusing the Congress of creating a perception in the country that daughters are not getting justice here, Ganga said, “We felt that the image of the party and the prime minister is at stake and under a conspiracy the whole thing is going on. We felt it better (to submit our resignations) to save the image of the party from getting tarnished and to save the image of the prime minister. We were not under any pressure."
He said it was the party high command which sent them to Kathua to control the situation. “I was very clear in my words while condemning the brutal killing of the girl and want the culprits be hanged," he said.
However, he said, since there was a public demand for a CBI probe, “I said we will put forth the demand before the chief minister."