JAMMU: The Congress accused the BJP-RSS combine of trying to "communalise" the rape-and-murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir for "political gains", and cautioned the people against designs of the divisive forces.
"It is utterly shameful and disgusting that the BJP-RSS combine is trying to communalise the inhuman Kathua incident for political gains," Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) leaders and party legislators said in a joint statement.
The legislators and leaders include Sopore MLA Haji Rasheed Dar, Bandipora MLA Usman Majeed, Devsar MLA Mohammad Amin Bhat and MLC G N Monga.
"The Congress party will not allow any individual, group or party to politicise and communalise the recent gruesome rape and brutal murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.
Communal elements in any party who are trying to communalise or politicise the Kathua incident must be dealt sternly," it said.
They said that the sinister agenda of communal forces is to tear apart social cohesiveness, communalise the situation, inflame passions and give anti-social elements a free hand to destroy properties and human lives.
The Congress, with the support of the people of the country, will thwart these nefarious attempts, the joint statement said.
The body of the girl from Muslim nomadic community was recovered from Rasana forest on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area.
On January 23, the government handed over the case to the crime branch of the state police which formed a Special Investigation Team and arrested eight people including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a head constable, who were charged with destruction of evidence.
Jammu has been tense since the incident.
The Congress legislators and leaders said that with assembly elections in some states round the corner and with an eye on next year's Lok Sabha polls, the BJP is desperate to communalise the situation.
"We caution the people against designs of communal, divisive forces and appeal to them to maintain communal harmony at all costs," it said.