BLUNT BUTCHER / ANCHOR
JAMMU: Soon after quitting as Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti was not wrong in bragging about seven major achievements her party registered during the aborted PDP-BJP rule in Jammu and Kashmir. The PDP did achieve its agenda and much more during its tenure of 1,120 days. But how will the BJP now justify its role in allowing the accomplishment of the nefarious agenda despite its ministers sharing power with the PDP in two spells between March 1, 2015 and January 7, 2016 with Mufti Mohammed Syed as Chief Minister and from April 4, 2016 to June 19, 2018 under Mehbooba Mufti.
Interestingly, one of the achievements referred to by Mehbooba Mufti pertained to most sensational and controversial Rassana rape and murder case, involving an eight year old nomad girl. The former Chief Minister boasted that she succeeded in instilling a sense of confidence and security among the minorities, in this case the Muslims. How could a crime, as heinous as it is in the nature, be attributed to security or insecurity of a particular segment of the society unless there is some other motivation? That is what worried the majority Hindus of Kathua District and subsequently of other parts of the Jammu region as well. They could smell the mischief after the angle of conspiracy was attached to the crime that had shattered the conscious of people, irrespective of their religious affiliations. No sooner the investigations were handed over to the Crime Branch, intriguingly comprising investigators from the Kashmir Valley, the apprehensions became wider. The political and social organisations of the Kathua district alleged harassment of a particular community in the Rassana village and its peripheries, leading to their migration to ‘safer’ places. This did not, however, move the self-proclaimed champions of Hindus. It shunted out two of its vocal ministers for showing solidarity with the aggrieved people and demanding a CBI probe. How could demand for fair investigations into a case of this nature entail punishment? As if it was not enough, the then BJP Deputy Chief Minister went on record defending the investigation by the Crime Branch, saying the culprits must be punished. How will the Jammu BJP now respond to the former Chief Minister’s open admission about the intension of Crime Branch investigations, is to be seen?
The power-hungry Jammu BJP could not see through the machinations being perpetrated under their nose in the government to destabilise the demography of this region. While Mehbooba Mufti spoke about ‘instilling security among minorities in Jammu, it has become necessary to see the investigations into the Rassana case in the backdrop of the minutes of a meeting of the Tribal Affairs Department (TAD), chaired by the Chief Minister, asking IGP Jammu and all the Deputy Commissioners, inter-allia, not to provide any police protection for eviction of tribals without the approval obtained from TAD; till a formal tribal policy is formulated and issued, tribal population shall not be disturbed or dislocated; in case it becomes absolutely necessary to dislocate any member or family of tribal population, the same should be done in prior consultation with the TAD; and, given the misuse of Section 188 RPC and Animal Cruelty Act against the tribals in a situation when animal rearing is their profession and they are required to transport their animals from one place to another, they (officers) should take due care while dealing with such cases.
Rassana case is under judicial process in a Court of Law, which is competent enough to decide it on its merits. The matter being sub-judice, the comments would perhaps be unwarranted. However, the charge-sheet in the case somehow indicates the ‘conspiracy angle’, which the Kashmir centric political parties and separatists have been trumpeting about. The charge-sheet says, “…In the course of investigation, it transpired that Sanji Ram, son of Des Raj, resident of Rasana was against the settlement of Bakarwals in Rasana Kootah, and Dhamyal area, and always kept on motivating the members of his community of the area not to provide land for grazing or any other kind of assistance…” The charge-sheet adds, “This rivalry between the two communities in the area has already resulted into registration of various FIRs and counter FIRs at different adjoining police stations of the area between the two communities. Thus during investigation it has become abundantly clear that the accused had a reason to act against the Bakarwal Community and hence the conspiracy ultimately resulting into the gruesome rape and brutal murder of an innocent budding flower, a child of only 8 years of age, who being a small kid became a soft target”. The motive is ‘established’.
Had the BJP ministers prevailed in seeking fair and impartial probe and worked towards getting the TAD minutes withdrawn, the conspiracy angle to the Rassana case could perhaps have been averted. The failure of the Jammu BJP has earned the Dogras of this region a cruelest tag of ‘rapist supporters’ in the international media. This is the reward for putting 25 seats into the lap of the BJP.
Mehbooba Mufti has a reason to have last laugh; courtesy, Jammu BJP’s total surrender in pursuit of power.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper