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Srinagar: As the trials against the eight accused in the gruesome Kathua rape and murder case began, all eyes are set on the proceedings of the case that has grabbed attention and headlines not only in India but elsewhere.

The way the case of an 8-year-old minor who was held captive, starved and gang-raped inside a temple before being murdered will be treated, will set a benchmark on how the judiciary will treat cases involving rape and murder of a minor in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Now that the case lies with the judiciary, only time will decide as to how this case will be dealt with and whether the victim’s family will feel as to having finally a rendezvous with justice or not.

The case is of utmost importance and the way all the forces in the state who have some relation to it, will take a call on the issue will set the trend for future discourse as far as delivery of justice in the state is concerned. No wonder then that even the political parties, whether they like it or not will also have to be very transparent while dealing with the case.

The prime responsibility among the political parties lies with the rightwing BJP. The party which had to face lot of heat over the way its members (ministers and MLA’s) included dealt with the issue clearly indicates that they have to do lot more to improve their report card.

No doubt the party may be trying to satisfy a hard line element in some pockets of Jammu region, but overall the party too will have to do a lot of explaining when it comes to coming clean over the gruesome rape and murder of an 8-year old innocent victim.

The way BJP has dealt with the situation may be appropriate for its top brass, but given the mood in the state and especially in the Valley, the party will have to do lot of explaining over some of its decisions. However, the party needs to caution its overenthusiastic workers who are hell bent on damaging the very social fabric in the state. Some hard line elements in the party have been advocating the case of the two ministers who were shown the door last week.

A section of the party is of the view that the two ousted ministers be taken back in the cabinet after an internal probe by the party is carried out and a report is submitted to party President Amit Shah.

Interestingly, the JK unit of the BJP will submit a report to Shah within 15 days on the alleged role of two former ministers in inciting people to protest against the PDP-BJP coalition government and defend the accused in the rape and murder case.

While the party is committed to securing the interests of Hindus in Jammu region, one of its miniscule factions has also accused former ministers Chaudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga of damaging the PDP-BJP coalition government by seeking to inflame protests against it.

But what is interesting to note is that some elements have been openly advocating their return into the ministries because these elements say that the duo went to Kathua to secure the interests of the party and the government by placating the Hindus of the region who had been annoyed by the fact that the probe into the rape and murder case was being handled by Muslim officers.

Now that such an under the carpet plan is being worked out by some fringe elements, the BJP must instantly come up with a plan to replace the two ministers in the state cabinet. For this the top leadership should take a stand and that too at an earliest.



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