Kathua Rape "Minor Incident", Says New J&K Deputy Chief Minister

Kavinder-Gupta

Kavinder Gupta sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir

Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir today questioned the state government's stance on the Kathua rape after a BJP MLA, Rajiv Jasrotia, who had reportedly attended the pro-rapist rally in Kathua, was promoted as a cabinet minister.

Madhav said: "The decision to quit from ministerial posts was taken by two ministers in view of some of the statements wrongly attributed to them by the media".

Though the new BJP ministers owe their induction into the Cabinet to the upheaval caused by the Kathua incident, there was lack of sensitivity in their tone over the murder-cum-gangrape.

Madhav said two BJP ministers had resigned in view of some statements attributed to them which created a "wrong impression" that they were "supporting the accused".

Sunil Kumar Sharma, who is presently serving as minister of state for transport, has been elevated to the rank of a cabinet minister.

An eight-year-old girl, belonging to a minority community, was allegedly kidnapped, brutally raped and murdered in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua region.

A reshuffle of the Jammu & Kashmir cabinet was on the cards for months, with the People's Democratic Party and the BJP, the two partners in the ruling coalition, keen to induct new faces.

The spokesman urged the Chief Minister to clarify her stand and sought an explanation from Gupta as well.

"For PDP to term these utterly cringe worthy remarks as "careless" is another tragedy in itself and shows how low the party has stooped to remain in power despite the dignity of the state and its peoples being ridiculed with each passing day", Mattu said.

Faced with a barrage of criticism, Gupta issued a clarification later in the evening. "This is unfortunate. It is a matter of grave concern when we describe the rape and murder of a girl child as a minor incident". "The party gave me the responsibility to bring in change after three years". Meanwhile, BJP's top brass is silent over this unwanted controversy. As speaker, he courted controversy by claiming that the Rohingya, who were settled near the army camp at Sunjuwan, were involved in the attack on the camp in February 2018 in which five soldiers and one civilian were killed.

Referring to last general elections and the state polls, Gupta said BJP had won three parliamentary seats in the state and 25 seats in Assembly polls. "Don't try to teach me what I have to do as speaker", Gupta had told the opposition.

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