EIGHT-YEAR-OLD’S Fam­ily To MOVE SC FOR TRIAL OUT­SIDE J&K

BAR COUN­CIL OF IN­DIA ASKS JAMMU BAR AS­SO­CI­A­TION TO CALL OFF ITS STRIKE

Millennium Post - - FRONT PAGE - MPOST BUREAU

The fam­ily of the 8-year-old who was raped and mur­dered in Jammu and Kash­mir’s Kathua, has de­cided to ask the Supreme Court to trans­fer the trial to an­other state. The mur­der of the child, who be­longs to a no­madic Mus­lim com­mu­nity, out­raged the coun­try af­ter the de­tails were ex­posed in a po­lice charge sheet last week.

Cit­ing that the lo­cal lawyers stopped the Crime Branch from fil­ing the charge sheet at the Kathua district court, the fam­ily lawyers said they would ask for a trans­fer.

“We are ap­pre­hen­sive that the trial will not hap­pen peace­fully, we re­quest the Supreme Court to trans­fer this case to some other state,” the lawyer added.

On Satur­day, Chan­der Parkash Ganga, one of the J&K ex-min­is­ters ac­cused of at­tend­ing a rally of the Hindu Ekta Manch, claimed that he had par­tic­i­pated in the event on BJP’S in­struc­tions.

He claimed the party was mak­ing him a scape­goat and said that he went there on J&K BJP pres­i­dent Sat Sharma’s or­ders.

Thou­sands joined in can­dle-light marches are be­ing held across Delhi, Mum­bai, Ben­galuru, Goa and Ker­ala. Protests are also be­ing held in Ajmer and Bhopal, the cap­i­tal of Mad­hya Pradesh.

Nearly 2,000 pro­test­ers, in­clud- ing ac­tivists who par­tic­i­pated in the ‘Not In My Name’ protests last year, have gath­ered in Par­lia­ment street at the heart of Delhi. Swati Mali­wal, the chief of Delhi Women’s Com­mis­sion, is hold­ing a hunger strike.

Bar Coun­cil of In­dia (BCI) on Sun­day asked the Bar As­so­ci­a­tion of Jammu (BAJ) to call off its strike and an­nounced that it would con­sti­tute a five-mem­ber team to in­ves­ti­gate the con­duct of the as­so­ci­a­tion in the Kathua rape-and-mur­der case in­volv­ing an eight-year-old girl.

“If any lawyer is found guilty in the case, we have the rights to can­cel their li­cense for a life­time,” said Manan Ku­mar Mishra, chair­man of BCI.

An FIR was regis­tered against lawyers who had tried to block the pre­sen­ta­tion of a charge sheet by the Crime Branch in the court of a Chief Judicial Mag­is­trate at Kathua in the case ear­lier this week on Mon­day. The lawyers also tried pre­vent­ing a woman lawyer from ap­pear­ing for the vic­tim’s fam­ily.

In­dia's rul­ing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sun­day de­manded the sack­ing of Jammu and Kash­mir Congress chief Ghu­lam Ah­mad Mir, claim­ing that he was seen in a video terming the po­lice probe in the Kathua rape-and­mur­der case mo­ti­vated and de­fend­ing the pub­lic protests against it.

Cit­ing the BJP'S de­ci­sion to re­move two of its Jammu and Kash­mir min­is­ters, who had joined the pub­lic protests against the probe, Union min­is­ter Prakash Javadekar won­dered if Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi would only point fin­gers at oth­ers but main­tain si­lence on the com­ments of his party's Jammu and Kash­mir unit chief.

In the video, which was played dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at the BJP head­quar­ters here, Mir is pur­port­edly telling re­porters that the lo­cals be­lieved the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was mo­ti­vated and that the main cul­prits were still at large.

Ques­tions would be raised and there must be some jus­ti­fi­ca­tion in the peo­ple's de­mand, Mir said, won­der­ing if the probe was aimed at mak­ing some po­lit­i­cal points.

"When our min­is­ters ex­pressed these sen­ti­ments, the Congress, the me­dia made a lot of noise. We took ac­tion.

They re­signed. Now we want to ask Rahul Gandhi, who took out a candlelight march (protest­ing the grow­ing in­ci­dents of crime against women in the coun­try), why is he not tak­ing ac­tion against his party's state pres­i­dent, Javadekar said.

Point­ing fin­gers at oth­ers while pro­tect­ing its own was the char­ac­ter of the Congress party, he al­leged.

The au­then­tic­ity of the video could not be in­de­pen­dently ver­i­fied.

The BJP had faced flak af­ter its lead­ers in the Jammu re­gion, in­clud­ing two min­is­ters in the Me­hbooba Mufti gov­ern­ment, joined the pub­lic protests against the po­lice probe into the bru­tal rape and mur­der of an eight-year-old girl from the no­madic Bakar­wal Mus­lim com­mu­nity that had led to the ar­rest of eight per­sons.

The two min­is­ters -- Lal Singh and Chan­der Prakash Ganga -- re­signed on Fri­day, soon af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi said these in­ci­dents, in­clud­ing a rape case in which a BJP MLA from Un­nao district of Ut­tar Pradesh is the ac­cused, had shamed the coun­try and that jus­tice would be en­sured in all the cases.

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