The BhartiyaJanta Party (BJP) today raised serious questions over the investigation into rape and murder of an eight year old Kathua girl, alleging that one of the officers investigating the case had been accused in the murder of a Hindu boy and rape of his sister.
"One of the members of the team investigating the Kathua case had been himself accused in the murder and rape cases of a Hindu boy and his sister," BJP state chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi said at a press conference at the BJP headquarters here. "IrfanWani, then InchargeKarara PP, Thathri Police Station was arrested in 2007 on the charges of murder of a boy and rape of a girl during their illegal custody. How can a person of such a character be associated with the present investigation?"
He however, said that Wani was subsequently acquitted of the charges by the court. "Still his being the member of the investigating team raises doubts over the fairness of the investigation," Sethi said.
Sethi said that the Kathua issue is sub judice and no intervention at this stage was warranted "except legal remedies".
Sources said the party will wait and watch till the charge-sheet is filed. "Future course of action will be decided after the challan is presented in the case by the Crime Branch," a senior leader of the party said.
"The BJP high command had directed the state unit to highlight party stand on certain burning issues like Kathua incident, settlement of Rohingya in Jammu, delimitation, etc. as the party has been facing criticism over these issues."
Pertinently, the Bar Association Jammu has also been observing strike over these issues.
Sethi said the BJP was the first political party to raise the issue of Rohingya because it is convinced that they "pose a security threat" and are prone to "exploitation" by the anti-national elements due to the sensitive location of Jammu. "Rohingya were brought by the NC-Congress government and settled here with specific motives," Sethi said adding as per the Passport Act, any foreigner entering the state without a valid passport and visa "is liable to be jailed and deported."
"Despite Article 370, neither these people were jailed nor deported, but instead provided with documents for their settlement that shows the deep involvement of the then government," Sethi said at the press conference in which party's other spokespersons Arun Gupta, SS Bijral and Brig Anil Gupta were also present.
As regards district status for Nowshera, Sethi said the agitation has already been called off. He reiterated the party stand that a commission for reorganization of districts will be appointed to meet aspirations of people of other districts as well.
On the 'tribal policy', Sethi clarified that no government orders on the subject have been issued. "The minutes of the meeting, which is not an official order, were issued with a mischievous intention to which BJP reacted immediately," he said.
"In order to remove all the apprehensions from the mind of the people the CM has been asked to withdraw or cancel the said minutes. The BJP is of the view that anyone who has encroached upon government lands, irrespective of his or her religion must be evicted," Sethi said.
He appealed to the protesting lawyers to call off their strike and return to work so that "time is given to the government to resolve these issues."