Jammu: Angry protesters attacked Jammu and Kashmir minister Sham Lal Choudhary's cavalcade on the Jammu-Pathankot highway with stones today, demanding a CBI probe into the Kathua rape and murder case. The agitators tried to block the highway when the convoy was passing, but when it didn't stop, they hurled stones. Mr Choudhary is a BJP leader from Jammu.
An 8-year-old girl had been abducted, gang-raped for a week, before being killed, allegedly by a group of men in Rasana village of Kathua district, creating a nationwide furore. The family of the accused has been demanding a CBI probe into the horrendous crime, which is currently being investigated by the Crime Branch of the Jammu and Kashmir police.
The state Crime Branch has already presented a charge sheet in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kathua against the eight accused.
Two ministers in Mehbooba Mufti government - Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga - had to resign after they were seen to support demands for a CBI inquiry from the eight accused in this case. BJP leaders later said the two ministers had to pay for indiscretion but there was nothing wrong in demanding a CBI probe.
Sanji Ram, the main accused in the rape and murder, told the Supreme Court on Friday that he was innocent and the probe should be handed over to the CBI to get to the "real culprits".
The gang-rape and murder of the girl from the nomadic Bakerwal community had transformed into a full-blown political controversy, with Congress president Rahul Gandhi leading a candle-light vigil at India gate, last month. He had attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his silence on the grisly crime.
Speaking at a function later, PM Modi had condemned the incident. The centre also acted swiftly to assuage the anger of the masses, as it brought an ordinance to amend the POCSO Act, adding a provision of capital punishment for raping children.