Mumbai, Apr 13 (PTI) Being a mute spectator to the Kathua incident in Jammu and Kashmir, where an eight-year-old girl was raped and murdered, will increase the anger of the people of an already unstable region, NCP chief Sharad Pawar advised the Centre today.

Pawar said that the Kathua incident was a very serious one and the government should take appropriate steps, including providing security to the family of the victim, the lawyers fighting the case and officials of the investigating agencies.

“Those from the investigation agencies, lawyers and the family of the girl should be given security. We cannot rule out the possibility of a threat to their lives in the future,” he said.

“It is not important which religion the perpetrators of the crime belong to. This (Kathua) incident has happened in a region, which is already unstable. If the government remains a mute spectator, the anger of people will rise further,” Pawar said.

He added that action from the government would send a strong message that the government is not a mute spectator to the incident.

He was speaking to reporters here, after meeting a group of people from Nanar, in Ratnagiri district, who are opposed to the mega-refinery being set up there by major oil firms like IOC, HPCL, BPCL and Saudi Aramco.

Speaking over the proposed integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex at Nanar, Pawar said he would visit the place on May 10, hold discussions with local residents and then give an opinion on the issue.

The body of an eight-year-old girl, belonging to the nomadic Bakherwal community, was found in Rassana forest on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing her horses.

On January 23, the government had handed over the case to the crime branch of the state police which formed a Special Investigation Team and arrested eight people.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.