Srinagar: The opposition National Conference on Saturday took out a march from its party headquarters to the Chief Minister’s residence, to protest against attempts to shield the accused in the rape and murder of a minor Gujjar girl in Kathua district. NC leaders also spoke against the government’s decision to drop the name of army officer Major Aditya Kumar from the police FIR registered for the killing of civilians by army soldiers in Shopian on January 27.
Led by general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, party vice president Chaudhary Muhammad Ramzan, and North Zone president Muhammad Akbar Lone, hundreds of NC activists, including members of the party’s legal cell and women’s cell, marched towards the CM’s residence on Gupkar Road. Speaking to the media, Sagar said that the government had shown shocking insensitivity towards the heinous crime in Kathua. He said it was shameful that two cabinet ministers from the BJP participated in a rally in support of the culprits and that political pressure was being mounted on the police investigation.
“The state government has rubbed salt on the wounds of Asifa’s (the victim girl) family. 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 and forced 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,” Sagar said.
He also lashed out at the government and especially at the chief minister for their abject surrender in the case against the army for the civilian killings in Shopian. “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 went to the Supreme Court, Mehbooba Ji’s government said that the Major’s name doesn’t even exist in the FIR. 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,” he said.
Many NC leaders, legislators and office-bearers participated in the protest march.