Kathua rape and murder: NC stages protest, says Govt ‘shielding’ the accused

Srinagar: Scores of National Conference (NC) leaders and activists on Saturday carried out a protest march against governments ‘inability’ to take the Kathua rape and murder case forward. The party also accused the government of trying to shield the culprit.

The protest march led by NC General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, marched from the party headquarters ‘Nawa-e-Subha’ in Srinagar to the Chief Minister’s residence at Gupkar road to protest against what they said ‘brazen’ and ‘shocking’ attempts that have been made to shield the accused individuals in the heinous and barbaric Kathua rape and murder case.

Hundreds of NC activists, members of the legal-cell and women’s cell of the party marched towards the Chief Minister’s residence, seeking answers about the ‘brazen mishandling’ of the case under ‘apparent political pressure’ from some quarters.

Speaking on the occasion, Sagar said the government had sown shocking and shameful insensitivity towards the heinous tragedy in Kathua and it was a shame that two Cabinet Ministers participated in a rally that aimed to shield the culprits by mounting political pressure on the investigation process.

“The State government has rubbed salt on the wounds of Asifa’s family by allowing these forces to intimidate, torment and harass them even while they are mourning. It was shameful that the State Government and the District Administration couldn’t even facilitate Asifa’s burial in her own village as goons attacked the family forcing them to bury her in a neighbouring village. Following this tragedy, the revelation that evidence was destroyed clearly indicates towards a deep-rooted conspiracy being hatched at the highest quarters to save the culprits and the participation of two Cabinet Ministers in the Hindu Ekta Manch event raises a lot of questions in this context”, he said while speaking to the media during the protest march.

The NC General Secretary also lashed out at the State Government and the Chief Minister for an abject failure to take the Shopian killings FIR to any conclusion and said the Government had been ridiculed by the Central Government which had filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the FIR filed by the J&K Government.

“First Mehbooba Ji assured the people on the floor of the Assembly that she would take the Shopian FIR to its logical conclusion and then when the accused Army Officer’s father move to the Supreme Court – Mehbooba Ji’s government said the Major’s name doesn’t even exist in the said FIR. Consequently, the Central Government filed a fresh plea in the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the FIR filed by the J&K Government. Now the very right of the State Government to take legal action in these matters is being mocked and unfortunately the Chief Minister is completely silent and has surrendered. This doesn’t auger well for the State and these are answers that the CM must answer,” he added.

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