The members of the so-called “fact-finding” team, which submitted its report on the Kathua rape and murder case to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Friday, are linked with right-wing groups, the details gathered revealed.
The Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA), which had set up the team, is seen close to the right-wing groups. The GIA functions in the past have been attended by the top RSS leaders.
Meera Khadakkar, one of the members of the team, is the president of Nagpur chapter of the Jammu and Kashmir Study Circle, which itself is considered close to RSS. The Circle had hosted RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat earlier this year.Meera confirmed that she “is the president of Nagpur chapter of J&K Study Circle (JKSC).”
The JKSC had in March organized ‘Sapt-Sindhu Jammu Kashmir Ladakh Mahotsav’ at Nagpur which was also attended by RSS chief Mohan Baghwat.
“Mohan Baghwat Ji had come to the function. Among the political people, only Priya Sethi Ji was present in the function,” Meera said, adding that people had also come from different parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Mahrashtra and New Delhi to attend the function.
During the function, Bhagwat had said there was need for “shakti” (power) and “yukti” (tact) to ensure that “truth prevails” in Kashmir. Priya Sethi is the nominated MLA of BJP in J&K Assembly and was the minister of state before Monday’s reshuffle in the cabinet.
Asked about her views on the RSS, Meera said: “I have good opinion about the RSS. They are nationalist and patriotic people.”
Meera, who, according to the report, is ex-district judge, said she was sent to Kathua by the organisation known as Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA).
“Since I am in legal field, they choose me,” she said.
Meera said the JKSC was working for awareness, friendly relations and national integration.
The JKSC is also campaigning for revocation of the Article 35 A, a constitutional provision that grants special rights and privileges to the state subjects of J&K.
Another member of the fact-finding team Monika Arora is convener of the GIA.
On the first anniversary celebration of GIA in New Delhi in 2016, RSS leader Dr Krishan Gopal was the speaker on the special lecture on nationalism.
When asked about presence of the RSS leader in the function of GIA, Monika evaded direct reply. “We organize functions every month,” she replied.
Arora, who is a lawyer, is the Government of India’s standing counsel in Delhi High Court.
In its report, the team while demanding a CBI probe into the case has pointed out that the Crime Branch team comprised of two ethnic Kashmiris. It has gone to the extent of saying that the SSP Crime Branch Jammu is also a Kashmiri. Ramesh Kumar Jalla, a Kashmiri Pandit, is SSP Crime Branch Jammu.
To justify its demand for CBI probe, the team has mentioned in the report that “in a sensitive case like this and in a state like J&K, this (composition of Crime Branch team) matters.”
The report was submitted to Rajnath Singh and minister of state in PMO, Jitendra Singh, three days before the case would come up in the Supreme Court which had stayed its trail last week.