Jammu, Apr 15 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir today claimed that it was after his demand, the accused in the Kathua rape case were arrested and said he never raised questions on the state police’s probe in the matter.
Mir’s remarks came after the BJP this morning played a video purportedly showing him calling the police probe into the rape and killing of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua as motivated and defending the public protests against it.
“This is an old video. The statement was given by me in March. It was prior to the arrest of the mastermind and main accused, and others (in the Kathua case),” he said.
The saffron party has also demanded that Congress president Rahul Gandhi sack Mir.
“It was after my statement, the main accused and mastermind, Sanji Ram, and others were arrested. I never raised question mark on the probe (by the crime branch). I have never demanded a CBI probe (into the matter),” Mir told PTI.
In the video, which was played during a press conference at the BJP’s New Delhi headquarters, Mir is purportedly telling reporters that the locals believed the investigation was motivated and that the main culprits were still at large.
It was played in the presence of senior BJP leader and Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari.
The playing of video by the BJP is aimed at diverting attention from the involvement of its J-K ministers and party leaders in the Rassana agitation to shield the culprits of the Kathua case, Mir alleged.
The BJP had faced flak after its leaders in the Jammu region, including two ministers — Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga — in the Mehbooba Mufti government, joined the public protests against the police probe into the rape and murder case, which led to the arrest of eight persons. The ministers resigned on Friday.
Javadekar, citing the BJP’s decision to remove Singh and Ganga, wondered if Gandhi would only point fingers at others, but maintain silence on the comments of his party’s J-K unit chief.
The girl from the nomadic Bakherwal community had gone missing on January 10 and her body was recovered a week later, on January 17, from the Rassana forest in Kathua district.
On January 23, the J-K government had handed over the case to the state police’s crime branch, which formed a Special Investigation Team and arrested eight people, including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a head constable, who was charged with destruction of evidence.
Ram is the alleged conspirator of the Kathua rape and murder case The crime branch filed a main charge sheet against the seven accused on Monday last and one separate charge sheet against another accused, who was earlier said to be a juvenile, at a court in Kathua on Tuesday last.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.