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Jairam Ramesh dismisses disgraced Kathua-case lawyer turned Congress leader Deepika Rajawat as ‘neta’ over her ‘resignation’ during Bharat Jodo Yatra

Jammu and Kashmir Congress spokesperson Deepika Rajawat resigned from the party on 18th January 2023 after Choudhary Lal Singh's proposal of joining Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kashmir

On 18th January 2023, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh dismissed disgraced Kathua-case lawyer turned Congress leader Deepika Singh Rajawat as ‘neta’ over her resignation from the party during Bharat Jodo Yatra. The video of Jairam Ramesh refuting a journalist asking him about the resignation of the former Congress ‘leader’ went viral on social media in which Ramesh asks the journalist how can he call any Congress member a leader.

A journalist asked Jairam Ramesh during a media interaction what he would say about Deepika Rajawat – a ‘leader’ from his party – who recently resigned. Answering this, Jairam Ramesh said, “I will not say anything about this right now. I will talk about this only when I go to Jammu. And let me tell you, she is not a ‘leader’. It is wrong to call everyone a ‘leader’.”

Jammu and Kashmir Congress spokesperson Deepika Rajawat resigned from the party on 18th January 2023. Her resignation came ahead of the Jammu and Kashmir leg of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra which is set to enter the Union Territory on January 19. She tweeted, “In view of Choudhary Lal Singh’s proposal of joining Bharat Jodo Yatra and the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Indian National Congress allowing the same, I am left with no other option but to resign from INC. Lal Singh was responsible for sabotaging the Kathua rape case in 2018 by brazenly defending rapists. Lal Singh divided the entire region of Jammu & Kashmir to protect the rapists and Bharat Jodo Yatra is ideologically opposite. On ideological grounds, I cannot share the party platform with such a person.” She also tagged Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Jairam Ramesh, KC Venugopal, and Rajani Patil in her tweet.

Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat became an overnight celebrity in the media after she appeared as a lawyer for Kathua’s rape and murder victim. The Kathua rape case was top news for several weeks in the country, and Deepika was hailed as a hero of the case. It was argued that if Deepika Singh had not joined the case, the victim would have never got justice.

However, she was later accused of grandstanding by taking up the case the of Kathua rape victim’s tragedy but deserting the victim’s family during the court proceedings. In November 2018, it was revealed that Deepika had attended only 2 hearings in the case that was being heard by the Pathankot session court. Sessions Judge Dr. Tejwinder Singh was hearing the case on a daily basis as per Supreme Court order, and a total of 110 hearings had taken place already in the five and a half months. But the celebrity lawyer, who was supposed to lead the fight for justice for the victim, attended only 2 of these hearings.

Subsequently, an affidavit was filed at the Pathankot sessions court by the victim’s father, who was also the main complainant of the FIR, saying that Deepika will no longer be his advocate in the case and he is withdrawing the power of attorney issued to her. According to Yousaf, the victim’s father, Deepika Rajawat had said that there was a threat to her life in Pathankot, which was why she could not go there for hearings. In view of this, Yousaf informed the court that he was removing Deepika Rajawat from the case.

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