A video circulating on social media purporting to show senior BJP leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Forest Minister Choudhary Lal Singh’s brother hurling abuses at Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti during a public rally in Kathua district of Jammu province, has gone viral.
In the video, Choudhary Rajinder Singh can be heard shaming and hurling abuses at Mufti while the crowd loudly cheers and reciprocates. Ironically, several people in the crowd can be seen holding tricolors in their hands. The video can be seen below:
Three factories in which former minister Lal Singh is believed to own a share were raided by the police last month, and acacia catechu (kattha) worth crores of rupees was seized. Pertinently, the raids followed his forced resignation from the People’s Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government in J&K, on a complaint filed by a Samba district resident. The complaint reportedly alleged that the former forest minister, in connivance with forest department officials, had favoured the factory owners and the wood collection from the local growers was higher than the permissible limit.
Lal Singh and another BJP leader, Chander Prakash Ganga, resigned from the cabinet following their participation in a rally organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch in January, in support of the accused in the heinous case of rape and murder of an 8-year-old nomad child in Kathua. Since his forced resignation, Singh has been campaigning for a CBI probe in the rape and murder case, besides demanding the resignation of CM Mufti.
Reacting sharply to the video, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has demanded legal action against Choudhary Lal Singh’s brother for using “derogatory language” against the Chief Minister.
Earlier on Sunday, Lal Singh led a march in Kathua district, walking barefoot for nearly five hours, demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the rape and murder of the 8-year-old Bakerwal girl that has the state on the edge since January.
The march was organised to mount pressure on the state government to have the Kathua case investigated by the CBI.
Addressing the rally, Singh changed the name of Hindu Ekta Manch to Dogra Ekta Manch and asked all villages in Hiranagar subdivision to prepare lists of 50 people who would sit on 24-hour dharna at Kootah Morh in rotation. “We did not protest when they discriminated against us in selection to government jobs, or many other issues,’’ Singh was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. “However, we cannot tolerate it if anybody calls Dogras rapists and criminals.”
The Crime Branch has filed a chargesheet against eight accused in the rape and murder of the eight-year-old child in Rasana village in Kathua district. On the plea of the victim's father, the Supreme Court ordered that the trial of the case be held on a daily basis without any adjournment in Pathankot in neighbouring Punjab.
Meanwhile, the forensic evidence received by the J&K Crime Branch on Sunday in the Kathua rape and murder revealed that Vishal Jangotra had forged signatures on an exam attendance sheet that he had allegedly signed in Meerut.
Crime Branch sources said the forensic report received from the Central Forensic Laboratory said the signatures on the exam attendance sheet did not match with that of Jangotra’s, who had claimed to have signed the exam attendance sheet in Meerut to prove that he was not present in Kathua at the time and thus not guilty, after he was accused by the investigators of being part of the heinous crime.
With IANS inputs
This article was updated at 5.36 pm on May 21, 2018 to correct the headline