A rape and murder of a 8 year old girl has taken the nation by storm, stirring the cauldron of emotions among the citizens of India. Main stream media has gone all guns blazing against the lawyers from Jammu, who it was alleged were trying to protect the accused in the murder case.
It is beyond a normal man’s comprehension as to why would lawyers obstruct the filing of charge sheet before the magistrate as it happened on April 9?
So what is the real truth behind lawyers supporting the culprits?
It all started with Jammu High Court Bar Association (JHBA) calling for a strike on 11th April in support of various demands; their primary demand was to deport Rohingyas and Bangladeshi Nationals from Jammu. Other two demands were withdrawal of highly objectionable and unconstitutional February 14, 2018 minutes of the Tribal Affairs Department, and handing over the Kathua rape-and-murder case of a minor girl to the CBI.
But what followed was a colossal maligning campaign against the protest by lawyers and an absolute misconstruing of their demands. From the UN’s president to media houses in New York and Washington, made statements which hurt India’s reputation internationally. Let us judge for ourselves and verify if the projected version of the events by the media holds any truth.
Demands of JHBA, are they justified?
Demand 1: Deportation of Rohingyas from the Jammu region was the main reason lawyers decided to go on a strike, as confirmed by JHBA’s statement. The bar association has been very critical of the State government’s “active connivance” in settling the Rohingyas in and around Jammu region. Indian home ministry has already declared that it has intelligence information of Rohingya links with Pakistan based terrorists. It had also submitted an affidavit to the court arguing that such a brusque stance was justified due to the security threat posed by illegal immigrant Rohingyas. Under such circumstances Ms Mehbooba Mufti’s government’s inaction against them is nothing less than jeopardising the lives of people living in Jammu.
Demand 2: The next issue the lawyers tried highlighting was the inclusion of “some minutes of a meeting released by the Tribal Affairs Department on February 14, 2018 which had originally not been discussed in the meeting”. Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti, had confirmed this.
The part of the minutes which were included later and marked as “directed by CM” was – Tribals shall not be disturbed/dislocated a member or a family of the tribal population from the forest and state land they had occupied, IGP and police will not provide protection to those who would go to get the state and forest lands encroached vacated and the tribal people will be allowed to take their animals, including bovine, from one place to another without any check.
Jammu based lawyer, Ankur Sharma, and MoS Forest and Finance, Ajay Nanda, of the BJP were quick to raise their voice against the extra inclusions in the meetings as a deliberate attempt to grab land and alter the demography of Jammu, and that law should be equal for all.
Demand 3: JHBA made an observation that the State Government seemed to have “miserably failed” in protecting the family of the rape victim. The association demanded that the State government must provide adequate monetary compensation as well as security to the victim’s family. JHBA also clarified that the demand for a CBI investigation into the case was done with an intention to have a fair probe into the case, and that it “does not tantamount to shielding the real accused”.
But what unfolded in front of our TV screens was a completely different version of the lawyers protest in Jammu. JHBA in an attempt to clear the air released a statement on 13th April which clearly stated “it is noted with grave concern that some vested interest are trying to project that present agitation is a proceeding in communal lines and confined only to Rasana rape and murder case, which is factually incorrect”.
Unfortunately the statement did not get as much attention in the mainstream media, probably because this would not have grabbed as many eyeballs as the claims of a communal violence erupting in Jammu.
How did the protest become a maligning campaign against a certain community in Jammu? Who formed the corollary that the accused was being protected by the lawyers? Why was the government fumble footed in preventing undesirable elements from settling in Jammu?
This campaign against India seems to be a sterling work of those who have interest in dividing India on communal lines. What everyone forgets is that the game is being played over an innocent child’s dead body. Our thoughts with the bereaved family.