Union Minister VK Singh today added his voice to the spiralling outrage over the gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, which has jolted India. 'We have failed Asifa as humans. But she will not be denied justice,' the junior foreign minister tweeted.
He is the first central minister to talk about justice for little Asifa. His colleague Jitendra Singh, who represents a part of Kathua in parliament, had last month appeared to back the accused when he said, 'those who have not done anything wrong should be given justice', and favoured a CBI inquiry.
Asifa was kidnapped from near her village on January 10, kept sedated and gang-raped repeatedly for days by a group that included police officers and a teenager before being killed. Just before her head was bashed in with a rock, one of the police officers asked the killer to wait so he could rape the child one more time, according to the charge-sheet. One of the rapists travelled all the way from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh after being invited to 'satisfy his lust'.
The child's body was found in the forests on January 17. As her community and locals protested, two policemen tried to help the accused by manipulating the evidence.
Protests against the murder became a polarizing factor and even divided ruling coalition partners Mehbooba Mufti and BJP. Yesterday, Ms Mufti, the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and accused the BJP's state leadership of creating trouble in state.