JAMMU: Opposition National Conference (NC) today decried "communalisation and politicisation" of a rape-and-murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district, saying it was highly deplorable and against civilised behaviour.
NC provincial president Devender Singh Rana urged the administration to take all necessary steps to instill confidence among the people to sternly dealt with criminals and their sympathisers irrespective of their religious backgrounds.
Body of the minor girl was recovered from Rassana forest on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area.
The government had on January 23 handed over the case to crime branch of the state police which arrested a Special Police Officer (SPO) for his alleged involvement in abduction and killing of the girl.
Earlier, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) had arrested a 15-year-old boy and claimed the accused had strangulated the victim after she resisted his rape attempt.
The government ordered suspension of a station house officer on January 20 apart from ordering a magisterial probe in the case, which triggered protests in and outside state assembly.Â
Rana's statement came a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti despised a rally by a right-wing group for using the Tricolour and demanding the release of the arrested SPO.
Mehbooba was referring to the rally taken out by the Hindu Ekta Manch on Thursday here, demanding the release of SPO Deepak Khajuria, who was arrested last week in connection with the brutal murder.
"Can politics stoop such lower depths where barbaric act against a girl child falls prey to religious chauvinism", Rana asked, adding those spearheading the cause of a criminal or criminals should have vouched for the victim whose "agony and wilderness at the time of commission of the crime might have shook the heavens".
He expressed surprise over â€œillogical and uncalled for protestsâ€ in support of a criminal. The NC leader said the fringe elements should not be allowed to unleash communal agenda under the garb of â€œultra nationalismâ€.Â â€œThose aligning or indulging with the reactionary elements to have free run from the crime are actually destroying the social fabric, which could have serious ramifications for the society at large," he said, adding that taking sides with criminals on the basis of religion would embolden perpetrators of crime.
"If it is her today, it can be anybody tomorrow," Rana said while invoking societal response to the dangerous trend being set by frenzy elements, hiding behind the religion.
He exuded confidence that the society ingrained with the philosophy and ethos of daughters belonging to all would isolate the perpetrators of violence and seek justice for the innocent child.
Â "It is moral duty for us all to ensure that poor girl gets justice to lie in peace in the grave," Rana said.
â€œA criminal is a criminal and crime is a crime,â€ the NC provincial president said, adding that those evoking emotions and giving communal tinge to the Kathua incident were committing a "heinous" crime against the humanity, which cannot have religious sanction.