The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (Jammu) held a protest rally against the Mehbooba Mufti government on Friday—the third day of its agitation—as they feel that the PDP-BJP coalition government was working against the interests of Jammu.

Jammu is already on the brink of a massive agitation like the one witnessed in 2008 over the Amarnath row, with the Hindu Ekta Manch and many other right wing organisations deciding to team up with civil society and Jammu Bar Association. The contours of the agitation have become visible as the Jammu Bar Association, with the backing of the BJP, has decided to kickstart the agitation.

State BJP leaders and some sitting ministers have been openly supporting the Hundu Ekta Manch and demanding the transfer of the Kathua rape case from the state crime branch to the CBI. BJP leaders of Jammu feel that there is erosion in their support base and they have started aligning with Jammu based political organisations to remain politically relevant. “We will not allow Mehbooba Mufti to extend Forest Right Act to the state without granting political reservation to the Scheduled Tribes also,” said Chowdhary Lal Singh, state Forest Minister and BJP leader.

It is in place to mention that the Crime Branch of J&K police is going to submit the charge-sheet in a few days, detailing about the mastermind of this heinous crime. An investigation officer of the Crime Branch, who is finalising the report, said that the Crime Branch has concluded in its report that the main mastermind Sanji Ram was behind this rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl and that the greater conspiracy was to “throw out” Muslim Gujjars and Bakarwals from Rasana village of Hiranagar.

The girl went missing in the Rasana forests on 10 January and her mutilated body was found on 17 January.

According to senior journalist Harbanz Nogkey, “it seems Jammu will witness unrest. Many Jammu people feel that there is a demographic invasion in Kathua, Sambha and Udhampur districts by Gujjars and Bakarwals.” Another senior journalist of Jammu Arun Joshi said, “Polarisation has been creeping in in Jammu region as Mehbooba Mufti has not been able to resolve the issues like district status for Nowshera, continuous presence of Bangladeshi and Rohingya refugees etc.”

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