Jammu, Apr 14 (PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) and the Jammu High Court Bar Assocation (JHBA) today held candlelight marches here to protest the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in Kathua district.

Scores of state JKCC leaders led by president G A Mir staged nearly an hour-long candlelight vigil in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue at Satwari chowk on Airport road this evening demanding security and protection of the women across the country.

JKPCC senior vice president Sham Lal Sharma said, We will not hesitate to sacrifice our lives for the greater cause of protecting our women from beasts. The attacks on women in the country demonstrate the lawlessness and the failure of the governments to fulfil its basic responsibility of protecting the citizens.” Mir said the party was being portrayed falsely over its stand on the rape and murder case.

From day one, the party was of the view that the culprits behind this heinous act should be brought to book and handed over an exemplary punishment, he said.

Earlier, JHBA members led by president B S Slathia took out a candlelight march from district court complex to Ambhala chowk in the city in memory of the rape victim.

Carrying banners and placards seeking justice for the victim, the participants observed two minute silence and prayed for peace to the soul of the minor.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.