Srinagar, Apr 13: Two senior BJP leaders and ministers in the J&K cabinet were made to resign on Friday amidst growing opposition against them supporting the accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in January this year.
Minister of forests, Lal Singh Chaudhary and Minister of Industries and Commerce, Chander Prakash Ganga, submitted their resignations to the party head Friday afternoon.
The duo had participated in a pro-accused protest rally called in Kathua on March 04 by Hindu Ekta Manch, a group made to shield the accused in the case.
A BJP spokesperson told The Kashmir Monitor that two BJP ministers – Lal Singh and Chandra Prakash Ganga – submitted resignations before the BJP state president.
BJP state general secretary Ashok Koul was quoted in a report confirming the development.
“State party president has received the resignation of both the ministers. Now the party legislators are meeting tomorrow to decide the fate of both the ministers,” Koul said.
There has been growing anger against the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.
The J&K Crime Branch submitted a charge sheet in court on Monday against the seven accused in the rape-and-murder of an eight-year-old Kathua girl, despite lawyers’ bid to scuttle it. Hindu Ekta Manch and lawyers of Bar Association Jammu and Kathua were supporting the accused.
Since the day incident was reported, people in Kashmir have been protesting against the gruesome incident. However, for the last few days, the voice for justice to Asifa has been coming from across the world. There was a campaign across India and abroad seeking justice for Asifa.
Cornered over supporting the accused, the BJP according to sources had sought resignations from Singh, and Ganga.
Accompanied by BJP MLAs Rajeev Jasrotia and Kuldip Raj, representing Kathua and Hiranagar constituencies, Singh and Ganga in first week of March had criticised the state government for handing over the case to the Crime Branch.
“What enquiry they will do? First, the police was investigating the case, then SIT was formed, after magisterial probe, and now Crime Branch is probing the case. What is government doing we fail to understand? The case should be referred to the CBI,” Ganga had said in the rally.
He had said that BJP would stand with Hindu Ekta Manch “to have the case referred to the CBI”.
“We have sympathy with you and will ensure that police provides proper protection to the people of Kuthua,” he had said.
While Singh had said, ““The BJP government is for everyone and I assure you that case will be referred to the impartial agency. We will not allow this jungle raj, under which they (police) are picking up people at will, to continue. What kind of investigation are they doing?” he had said.