- 8-year-old girl was raped and murdered in Jammu in January
- Certain groups have protested against the prosecution of the accused
- VK Singh is the first central minister to talk about justice for the girl
He is the first minister in the BJP-led central government to talk about justice for little girl. His colleague Jitendra Singh, who represents a part of Kathua in parliament, had last month appeared to back the accused when he said, "those who have not done anything wrong should be given justice", and backed the demand of local BJP leaders for a CBI inquiry.
Soon after, Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, calling it a "crime against humanity."
"How can anyone protect the culprits of such evil? What happened to [her] at Kathua is a crime against humanity. It cannot go unpunished. What have we become if we allow politics to interfere with such unimaginable brutality perpetrated on an innocent child?" Rahul Gandhi said.
The child's mutilated body was found in the forests on January 17. As her community and locals protested, two policemen tried to help the accused by manipulating the evidence. Her family and relatives were not allowed to bury her body in what they believed was their land, by the Hindu families who dominate the region.
The comment of General VK Singh, a former army chief, contrasts with the sight of two state BJP ministers attending a rally organised in support of the accused. Ministers Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga attended the event organised by Hindu Ekta Manch, an outfit that has been protesting against the arrests in the case.
Eight people have been arrested. The main accused is a retired revenue department official who planned the crime to instill fear among the Bakherwal nomads - the girl was one of them - and drive them out of the Rassana area where they were living. The others are special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, Sanji Ram's underage nephew, his friend and Sanji Ram's son Vishal Jangotra.
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