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Kathua rape case: PDP-BJP divide widens as ex-minister Choudhary Lal Singh takes aim at Mehbooba Mufti govt

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 00:00 Written by

Jammu: The BJP is playing with fire in the Jammu region with Choudhary Lal Singh — one of the two ministers unceremoniously ousted from the Mehbooba Mufti government — addressing over a dozen rallies on Tuesday in solidarity with the alleged culprits arrested in the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl, and also to demand a CBI probe in the case. To many political observers, this likely marks the beginning of a dangerous turning point in the communally-divided state.

On Tuesday, when the heavily-garlanded former forest minister of the state climbed onto a makeshift stage in Satwari Chowk of Jammu city, hundreds of his supporters — women included — resorted to intense sloganeering, denouncing the Jammu and Kashmir Police's probe into the case. Visibly enraged, Singh lent support to their demands of a CBI probe even as his speech was punctuated by slogans like "Bharat Mata Ki Jai".

"She is our daughter. We are fighting to punish her culprits, but it is a tragedy that people living far away (in Kashmir) are passing judgment on the case without knowing the facts. Our fight is for justice, which will be only be done by identifying the real culprits," Singh said in his speech.

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