New Delhi, Apr 14: Lal Singh, who was a part of the rally taken out in support of the Kathua gangrape and murder accused, on Saturday said that those responsible for the gangrape of the eight-year-old girl should be nabbed. Singh, however, defended his participation in the rally saying it was to defuse the tension in the area, a claim rejected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We had gone to defuse the situation created due to migration one and half months back. We told them they should go back. Abdul Gani Kohli (minister) was sent to the house of the victim, so that an ugly situation was not created,” Lal was quoted as saying.

Defending his move, Singh said that their primary responsibility in the state is to maintain peace and harmony. Lal Singh said, “Is it fine that state keeps on burning and the people become violent… I do not believe in Hindu-Muslim politics. Everybody is equal for me.”

Two BJP ministers, Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Parkash Ganga, on Friday, resigned due to mounting criticism, pressure from opponents and continuous protests from the Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti. Although the two claimed that they resigned on their own, sources have revealed that they resigned after Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to accept their reasons for being a part of the rally.

PM Narendra Modi on Friday slammed the two leaders saying that being ministers, they shouldn’t have joined the attack on J&K police for arresting the accused in the rape of an eight-year-old minor. PM also rejected the ministers’ defence that they had attended the rally organised by Hindu Ekta Manch to defuse the tension. (Also Read: I Miss my Daughter Every day, Says Kathua Rape Victim’s Father)

The resignation of Singh and Ganga came when PM Modi condemned the Kathua and Unnao rape cases saying that crimes against women have shamed the country and the culprits won’t be spared. “It’s an insult to the freedom fighters who gave their lives for the Independence of this country. We are all ashamed as a society, as a country,” Modi said at the inaugural event of Dr Ambedkar National Memorial.

In January 2018, an eight-year-old girl from the Bakarwal Muslim community was kidnapped, kept in the temple managed by the main conspirator Sanji Ram, sedated, gangraped and then choked to death. Her lifeless body was found in a forest near the temple she was held captive.