Srinagar: New Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Kavinder Gupta on Monday courted controversy within an hour of a cabinet reshuffle in the state with a shocking statement on the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua's Rasana village.
"Rasana is a chhoti si baat (minor issue)... We have to think this should never happen again and the child gets justice. There are many challenges like this facing the government. We should not give Rasana so much bhaav (importance)," Gupta told reporters.
His remarks came at a time when the entire country is outraged over the Kathua rape and murder case and the Unnao rape case.
Gupta's comment has been received with shock after a revamp linked widely to the outrage over the BJP's former ministers participating in a rally which was organised in support of the men arrested for kidnapping, drugging, gang-raping and murdering the child.
While the girl was from a Muslim nomadic tribe, all eight accused are Hindu. Questions have also been raised over the induction in J&K Cabinet of Rajiv Jasrotia, the BJP legislator from Kathua, who was part of the Hindu Ekta Manch Rally in support of the rapist-killers.
Earlier in the day, BJP leader Ram Madhav had said that the cabinet reshuffle had no connection with Kathua. "Our government has completed three years in power so we decided to have a reshuffle in the cabinet and give an opportunity to new faces," he told reporters.