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NC still says CM ready to hand over case to CBI

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Srinagar, Mar 08: Opposition National Conference on Thursday alleged that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was preparing an pretext to hand over the brutal and barbaric Kathua rape-and-murder case to the CBI as per the demand of her party’s alliance partner, the BJP- so as to shield the accused.

According to a party press release, senior NC leaders led by party general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, Chaudhary Muhammad Ramzan and Muhammad Akbar Lone and others held a detailed meeting at party headquarters here today to discuss the recent shocking developments surrounding the heart-rending case.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the NC leaders expressed anguish and shock at the recent revelation in various media reports that crucial evidence from the case had been destroyed by a police officer in a clear attempt to save the culprits.

“This recent revelation not only indicates the insensitivity of the state government in general and the ruthlessness and inefficiency of the Chief Minister in particular, but also clearly hints at a nefarious plan by the Chief Minister to seek an excuse to hand over the case to the CBI as is being demanded by the ‘Hindu Ekta Manch’ and the BJP ministers,” the NC statement said.

It alleged that from day-one,  this government has been compounding the pain of this grave tragedy and tormenting the victim’s family through its “irresponsible, casual, insensitive and chaotic approach” towards such a heinous crime that appears to have been perpetuated to instill fear and horror into the hearts and minds of a particular community.

Nowhere in the world would there be a precedent to Cabinet ministers violating prohibitory orders to address a rally in favor of primary accused in the rape and murder of a child even when the ministers know that the evidence against the accused is conclusive as per the police, NC said.

“The Cabinet ministers have not only politicized this heinous crime but have also ridiculed the Jammu and Kashmir Police by openly challenging its efficiency and objectivity as the Chief Minister cowered into a corner to save her chair.

“This whole plan seems to have come a full circle with the new revelation that crucial evidence has been destroyed by a police officer. While the said police officer has been apparently arrested, what does the Chief Minister intend to do about her Cabinet colleagues who have provided the political backing and thought behind such mischief by openly coming out in support of the accused?” NC asked.

“There is no doubt in our mind that the Chief Minister has buckled under pressure and is looking for an excuse to hand over the case to the CBI and this latest development proves that beyond a doubt,”  NC leaders alleged.

They said it was also tragic that the Chief Minister could not even protect the family of 8-year-old Asifa (victim) after her gruesome murder and watched as a "mute, helpless spectator as communal elements prevented her family from burying her in the village graveyard.”

“The family had to travel to a neighboring village at night to bury her body after goons with political patronage prevented the family from burying her in her own village. The Chief Minister is so invested in photo-opportunities that she converted this tragedy into one as well.

“Rather than delivering justice to the family of Asifa, the Chief Minister – true to her PR style of politics – chose to take pictures with the family of the murdered girl when they came to her office to seek justice,” NC alleged.

“What face will the Chief Minister show to Asifa’s family now as she openly facilitates an imminent miscarriage of justice to appease her Cabinet colleagues and to remain in power?” the senior NC leaders asked.

They said the Chief Minister should come out and publicly disclose her motives and answer crucial questions about her complicity in facilitating the possible transfer of this case to the CBI.

“The apprehensions and the perception that the government wants to delay and finally deny justice in this case are being vindicated. The High Court must intervene and take a strong notice of what’s being done at the behest of the powers that be and the sternest possible punishment should be meted out to not only the culprits but also those ministers, politicians and officers who are involved in attempts to dilute and distort the case by browbeating and intimidating not only the victim’s family but also the investigating officers of the police,” NC said.

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