Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said though he cannot intervene in state law and order affairs, he is taking all steps to ensure justice is done in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua.
"I have talked to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti several times and have asked my party workers to visit the place and take initiative to ensure justice to the victims, and thus normalise the situation," Rajnath Singh told a news channel.
He said he has also personally talked to BJP National President Amit Shah and party in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir affairs Ram Madhav. "He (Madhav) is in regular contact with the state and may personally visit J&K to normalise the situation."
The minister, however, did not speak on the rape case of an 18-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao in which the accused is a BJP MLA.
On whether he supported death penalty in rape cases of young girls similar to the provisions in Rajasthan, the Home Minister said he is in favour of strictest punishments in cases of heinous crimes but reserved his opinion on death penalty.
"There should be no difference of opinion for strict punishment in cases of grave nature. What should be the law? To what extent it should go? On this, I believe there should be a debate and after discussion, we should come to a conclusion. I agree there should be harsh punishment for this."
While the minister agreed that the victims and their families undergo harassment if there is delay in investigation and justice, he said: "As a Home Minister, I cannot directly intervene in state-related matters."
He, however, added: "From my side, I try my best to talk to those states where cases are getting delayed."
On the issue of elections in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh later in the year, Rajnath Singh said he was sure people would vote the BJP to power once again and would also bring back Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a second term in 2019.
The minister denied having any ambition of becoming the Prime Minister and said even if the BJP does not get complete majority, Modi would continue to be the leader and BJP would still form the government.