Srinagar: Attending a rally organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch, a right wing group that opposes the crime branch probe into the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua, two BJP ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government have asked the police "not to arrest anyone". They even called the investigation of the crime branch, which is being monitored by the high court, "jungle raj".
"Where is SSP sahib? Call him here. No person will be arrested now by this jungle raj which has been unleashed here," said Chandra Prakash Ganga, the Industries Minister.
Addressing a crowd, Mr Ganga said while they also want justice for her, "I don't understand this investigation. Why they have arrested a 14-year-old, a 22-year-old, a 28-year-old and a 37-year-old. How is this possible?"
For a week now, the manch has intensified its protests, alleging harassment of Hindus by the crime branch. As large crowds came out in support of the accused arrested by the investigative agency, another BJP minister, Lal Singh, asked people to ignore restrictions imposed in the district, which prohibits the gathering of more than four people in public.
"If you launch an agitation, do it with full force or sit at home. What's this Section 144? This one girl has died and there is so much of investigation. There have been many deaths of women here," said Mr Singh, who is the forest minister.
Four accused, including two special police officers, have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the rape and murder. The nomad girl who was herding horses was kidnapped on January 10. According to investigations, she was drugged and held captive for a week before being murdered.
The BJP minsters said they would take up the issue with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and ask her to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as people have "no faith in the crime branch probe". Ms Mufti's party PDP is now accusing the BJP minsters of hindering the probe.
"It's very unfortunate that a minister or anyone should hinder the process of investigations by the crime branch. I don't think the chief minister will succumb to this," said PDP Chief Spokesman Rafi Ahmad Mir.