Resignations of BJP minister to be handed to Mufti: Ram Madhav

Protestors block the Jammu Pathankot highway in Kathua during the Jammu Bandh on Wednesday

Protestors block the Jammu Pathankot highway in Kathua during the Jammu Bandh on Wednesday

The BJP on Saturday bought peace with an overeager Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir by forwarding to the chief minister the resignations of two ministers caught up in the Kathua controversy.

The two had attracted widespread anger and criticism for attending a meeting of the Hindu Ekta Manch in Hiranagar area of Kathua district.

"There is no question of any pressure".

Ganga and his cabinet colleague Lal Singh were at the centre of a storm over their participation in a rally in support of the accused in the Kathua rape and murder case.

"We, including the BJP which is in the government, will ensure justice for the girl and punishment for the culprits", he said. The PDP, according to insiders, has chose to press for the suspension of anti-militancy operations and also some forward movement on the agenda of alliance with BJP as soon as possible.

The state government has been told to withdraw the directive on forestland encroachments by nomads, PTI quoted Ram Madhav, the BJP's minder for the state, as saying in Jammu. "There was never any confusion on this principled stand of the party". "It is for the court to decide".

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The PDP thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and Ram Madhav for helping resolve the issue.

After the meeting, Works Minister and senior PDP leader Naeem Ahkar, who is also the government spokesperson, "appreciated" the BJP support in the handling of the case which had caused fissures in the alliance. "They are my people and I am firm on my words that the case should be transferred to the CBI; what's wrong in it, " Singh told reporters. Madhav said the two ministers had participated in the rally to pacify the crowd. "That is also a confidence-building measure".

Madhav said he did not see any threat to the BJP's coalition with the PDP. Mehbooba Mufti as state Home Minister has also dismissed all the cops of Hira Nagar Police Station who have been found accused in the case.

Informed sources said Mehbooba will request the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to constitute a fast track trial court to deliver a sentence in the case.

The girl was attacked to scare away the nomadic Muslim community out of the village. The girl had disappeared from a spot near her house on January 10.

Her attackers, which included temple official and policemen, drugged and gang raped her over days before finally killing her and dumping her body in a forest nearby, seven days later.

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