Call off strike immediately; BCI tells Jammu, Kathua bar bodies

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Both the ministers had taken part in the rally on March 1 after the nephew of the caretaker of "devisthan" temple was arrested in connection with the kidnapping, raping and killing of an eight-year-old girl in the Kathua district.

The two ministers, Chander Prakash Ganga and Choudhary Lal Singh, sparked off controversy after participating in the Hindu Ekta Munch rally in Hiranagar that sought to protect the accused in Kathua rape and murder case. "We have made a request and issued a direction to them to convene an extra-ordinary meeting tomorrow to decide on the issue", he said. More disturbingly, the entire motive of this ghastly crime appears to be the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim shepherd community of Bakerwals to which the little girl happened to belong. The girl was drugged and repeatedly raped before being killed by hitting her head with stones.

The Chief Minister forwarded the resignation of the two ministers to the state Governor.

A much-relieved Mufti had thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday for defusing the situation and said the unfortunate incident had brought the people of the state and the rest of the country "together".

In an earlier tweet she also said it was comforting to see the Supreme Court pull up the Jammu bar association for blocking justice in the rape and murder case of minor girl.

"It is only by awarding capital punishment to perpetrators of such heinous crime that incidents like Kathua rape and murder can be prevented in future", the former chief minister said.

Javadekar also demanded an apology from senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, noting that Bar Association of Jammu president B S Slahia, who had led the public protests against the police probe, was his poll agent in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. "There is no scope for delaying any further a meaningful and bold response to what has now developed into a moral, political and humanitarian challenge for this billion-plus nation", she said.

The girl's body was found a week after she disappeared from near home in January. She has also decided to make a new law which will make death penalty mandatory for raping of any minor in J&K.