Supporting a rapist

The rally in Kathua in support of the accused in rape and murder of the eight year old Ashifa  has stunned J&K. It is the new low in the communal turn that the politics of the state has taken in recent years, notwithstanding the argument that the PDP-BJP coalition has prevented  the communal polarization in the state. The rally was led by Hindu Ekta Manch headed by the BJP state secretary. The protesters demanding the release of the accused were carrying the tricolour to lend legitimacy to their demand. This forced  the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to tweet her shock at the development. The CM also expressed disappointment at the use of national flag by the protesters and termed it a desecration. However, she has assured that the law will take its own course. Similarly NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah has termed the rally in support of the accused as "indicator of the dangers confronting the state".  However, senior BJP leaders who had earlier maintained a studied silence have decided to rethink their position on the issue. Otherwise quick to respond to any grievance of a particular community,  some  BJP leaders had lent their support to the rally in support of the accused. Its MLA from the area Deepak Sharma hadn't helped the matters. He earlier visited Rassana  and held deliberations with the people of one community only.  Being a ruling party, the BJP should have been in the forefront of facilitating investigation in the case and ensuring that the justice was done to the family of the victim. It is horrible when a minor girl is raped and murdered. It is appalling when the crime is politicized. But it is unthinkable when a rally is taken out in support of the accused, with protesters carrying the national flag. There is something that is particularly immoral and unedifying about this. It is time that the top leadership of the BJP distances itself from the rally and supports the cause of justice in the case. Not doing so, will set one more bad political precedent and plunge the politics of the state to a new moral low.

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Greater Kashmir