BJP ministers, who supported Kathua rape case accused, resign

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Two senior BJP ministers Lal Singh and Prakash Chander Ganga, while addressing a rally in Kathua on March 4, organized by Hindu Ekta Manch, a fringe right-wing outfit protesting against the arrest of a Hindu man accused in the gruesome Asifa rape and murder case, had called the crime branch investigation, monitored by the high court, "jungle raj".

Lekhi also claimed that the two cases were "selectively" highlighted to target the BJP and said a similar rape-and-murder case of a minor girl in Assam did not get the prominence that the Kathua and Unnao incidents got.

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The party did not share their views and they should have maintained that the law was taking its course, she told a press conference here. The opposition parties are putting pressure on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to sack the two ministers.

So far, eight persons, including mastermind Sanji Ram, have been charged with abduction, rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl in Kathua's Rasana village in January. The body of the girl was recovered from Rassana forest on January 17 - almost a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area.

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The charge sheet has revealed that the girl was held in a temple, drugged, gang-raped and later killed. "Zakir Hussain was the main culprit with two [other] culprits", Lekhi said as she accused the media of not playing up the BJP's comments on the Kathua and Unnao rape cases. Questioning why some cases were being given prominence while others were not, Lekhi said "politicisation" of atrocities against children and women should not happen.

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday condemned Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua gangrape and murder case, which has prompted nationwide anger and outrage.

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The state government entrusted the enquiry to crime branch who arrested eight people including a police sub inspector, police head constable, two special police officers, a former revenue official, his son, a juvenile and his friend in the matter.

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