Call for Kathua bandh today in support of CBI probe demand

Deserted benches due to Kathua Bar strike on Friday. -Excelsior/Pardeep
Deserted benches due to Kathua Bar strike on Friday. -Excelsior/Pardeep

Avtar Bhat
KATHUA, Mar 2: To press their demand for CBI probe into the kidnapping and murder of a minor Gujjar girl whose body was found in Rassana forests on January 17, people of  Kathua have given a call for bandh tomorrow.
Having lost their faith and trust in State police and administration, which they alleged have failed to arrest the culprits and was harassing the innocent people including school going children, the people of Kathua have given a bandh call for tomorrow and sought support of traders as well as transporters in this regard.
“People of Kathua have given a bandh call tomorrow and it will be supported by all organizations”, said advocate Vijay Sharma heading the Hindu Ekta Manch (HEM) which is spearheading the present agitation of Rassana people and has demanded the CBI probe into the matter.
“Our organization has not given the bandh call but people of Kathua barring their political affiliations have given the call and appealed all traders including the Beopar Mandal Kathua and transporters to keep down the shutters of their business establishments and transport off the roads tomorrow to make the call a success”, said Sharma.
He said only CBI probe will unravel facts about the murder of the minor girl and the people of the village will be saved from unnecessary harassment and humiliation through the hands of the police.
Reiterating that people of Kathua are pained and shocked over the murder of a minor girl, he said such an act has never taken place in this district before and they want that the facts should be unraveled and guilty be punished.
Announcement was made in the town this evening on a three wheeler that the Kathua will observe a bandh tomorrow in support of HEM spearheading the agitation for Rassana villagers of Hiranagar tehsil and demanding CBI probe into the murder of Gujjar girl.
Meanwhile, the Bar Association of Kathua today suspended work in district and subordinate courts in support of Rassana people and their demand for CBI probe into the murder of minor girl.
All the chambers of lawyers in the district and subordinate courts wore a deserted look today as Bar observed total strike.
However, on the assurance of BJP Ministers, Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Parkash Ganga and State BJP president Sat Sharma that they will take up the demand of people regarding a CBI probe with Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti at Jammu within a day or two, the Rassana people who had migrated to Kootah returned to their homes and hearths in the village yesterday.
The BJP leaders and Ministers had visited Kootah yesterday and addressed the agitating of people there.
“We have returned to our homes in the village following the assurance of the BJP leadership and Ministers and we are hopeful that truth will prevail”, said Kant Kumar, ex-Sarpanch Rassana and one of the leaders of the Manch.
He said nothing except the CBI probe will be acceptable to the people who have faced lot of humiliation over one month through the hands of the police and Crime Branch sleuths.
Kumar said that the school going children were tortured and some of them could not appear in their examinations also.
Yesterday two BJP Ministers including Minister of Forest, Ch. Lal Singh and Minister of Industries and Commerce, Chander Parkash Ganga along with BJP State chief, Sat Sharma and MLAs, Rajiv Jasrotia and Kuldeep Raj had visited Kootah and addressed the gathering of agitating people there.
They assured total solidarity with the people saying that no one will be harassed unnecessarily and when people demand the CBI probe there should be no problem to any one in holding the same.
Lal Singh took a dig at those who oppose the CBI probe and assured the people that the BJP will also build a pressure for the same and it fully stands with the people of the area. He said every one has been shocked over the heinous crime and no human heart will be there which was not shaken by this barbaric crime but police should have unmasked the murderer instead of harassing the villagers.
He said the people of the country have not attained the freedom and made sacrifices that they should be harassed.
Chander Parkash Ganga said that the Crime Branch has let loose a reign of terror in the area and BJP will not allow this Jungle Raj to prevail. “No body will be allowed to suppress the peoples’ voice”, he added.
He said the fair inquiry in the murder of minor girl should be held and culprit be punished . “BJP supports the people’s stand and if you demand the CBI probe what harm is in conducting the same”, he added.
Kant Kumar, ex -Sarpanch while addressing the gathering criticized the police for issuing a handout that no one had migrated from the village and the migrants of Rassana stayed at Ram Leela Club, Kootah for three days.
BJP State president, Sat Sharma while talking to Excelsior said that Government is for the welfare and betterment of the people and “when people are demanding CBI probe into the matter we will put the same before the Government”. He said that within day or too the BJP leadership will be meeting the Chief Minister in this regard.
Meanwhile, some leaders of VHP and Bajrang Dal visited Rassana and Kootah today to take stock of the situation there. They met the villagers and members of HEM and assured full support to their demand.
Panthers Party president and ex MLA Balwant Singh Mankotia also visited Kootah today and met the leaders of HEM and supported the CBI probe demand.
The BJP State general secretary, Dr Narinder Singh also criticized the police for its failure in tackling the case and arresting the real culprits instead of laying hands here and there. He said it is unfortunate that State police has failed to tackle this case which has become an issue now.
He demanded that the real culprits be brought to book and peoples demand be accepted.