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Gujjars demand death penalty for accused

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Jammu, Apr 13: After over two months, the Gujjar leaders, who have made their political careers over the lineage with the nomadic communities, finally woke up to the Kathua rape and murder and took to streets here demanding the accused be given death penalty.

Protestors also raised slogans against the Jammu High Court Bar Association (BAJ).

The BAJ has been openly siding with the perpetrators of the crime and demanding the case be handed over to the CBI.

Protestors led by Gujjar and Bakerwal leader Choudhary Nazakat Khatana staged demonstrations in which they alleged that two state BJP ministers had supported a CBI probe in the case during an agitation at Rassana in Kathua last month.

The ministers — Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga — should be sacked by the Mehbooba Mufti government, the protestors said.

“We demand justice for the girl. We demand death penalty to the accused involved in her rape and murder case,” Khatana told reporters.

The Jammu and Kashmir Congress has asked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to come clean about the alleged involvement of the senior ministers in instigating trouble in Kathua over the rape and killing of the girl.

“The chief minister should clarify her stand on the involvement of two senior Ministers instigating trouble in Kathua with regard to brutal murder and rape of eight year old nomad girl,” state Congress chairman G A Mir said.

He expressed surprise over the silence maintained by Mufti on the issue, saying both the ministers should have been sacked for giving communal colour to the crime.

Jammu has been tense since the incident.

The police have arrested eight people in the case, but the Bar Association has opposed the action alleging “targeting of minority Dogras”.

Some of the arrested accused belong to the Hindu Ekta Manch, a right wing group.

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