Under fire Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said that the state will bring in a law that would make death penalty mandatory for those who rape minors. The CM’s statement comes amidst he nationwide horror over the brutal gang-rape of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua.
Saying that the brutal savagery of the crime had shamed humanity, she said that she stands committed to ensure justice and would also seek exemplary punishment for the culprits.
“We will never ever let another child suffer this way. We will bring a new law that will make the death penalty mandatory for those who rape minors,” she tweeted.
We will never ever let another child suffer in this way. We will bring a new law that will make the death penalty mandatory for those who rape minors, so that little Ashifa’s case becomes the last. 2/2
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) April 12, 2018
The Chief Minister has also called a meeting of party legislators and senior leaders to discuss the course of action to ensure that the victim gets justice.
Mufti, who is under fire for not acting against BJP ministers who rallied in defence of the accused, had earlier in the day said that the “law will not be obstructed”.
“The Law will not be obstructed by the irresponsible actions & statements of a group of people. Proper procedures are being followed, investigations are on the fast track & justice will be delivered,” she had said.
Meanwhile, the J&K government appointed two special public prosecutors, both Sikhs, for the trial in the Kathua rape and murder case.
The state police crime branch which probed the alleged rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl belonging to the nomadic Muslim Bakerwal community had filed a main charge sheet against seven accused persons and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile in a court in Kathua district earlier this week.
J&K Police DGP S P Vaid had written to the government in this regard by recommending two officers as SPPs to conduct the case. “We wanted two officers to pursue the case from police department as others may take the case casually,” another official said.
Asked whether two Sikh officers were engaged as SPPs to ensure “neutrality” in view of Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case, DGP Vaid said “please do not think on religious lines. It has not been done. Police does not think in terms of Hindu or Muslim or Sikh”.