Clamour for justice in rape and murder of minor girl gets shriller in Kashmir

The Justice for Asifa Solidarity Forum (JASF) on Thursday staged a protest sit-in in Srinagar against the rape and murder of 8-year old nomad girl Asifa Bano in Kathua district.

Published: 22nd February 2018 08:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2018 08:51 PM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The demand to punish killers of minor nomad girl, who was raped and killed in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir last month, is gaining momentum with separatists, civil society members and youth in Kashmir calling for awarding of death sentence to the rapists.

The Justice for Asifa Solidarity Forum (JASF) today staged a protest sit-in in Srinagar against the rape and murder of 8-year old nomad girl Asifa Bano in Kathua district.

“We demand that strong punishment should be awarded to all the accused and justice delivered to the victim family,” said human rights activist and civil society member, Hameeda Nayeem Asifa R/o Rasana village in Kathua district of J&K had gone missing on January 10 and her body with torture and violence marks was recovered on January 17. The girl was sexually assaulted before being killed by the abductors.

The Crime Branch, which is probing the girl’s abduction, rape and murder, has arrested three people including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) for their involvement in the crime.

Senior businessman and civil society member, Shakeel Qalander said they staged the sit-in to express their solidarity with the victim family.

He demanded stern punishment to the accused.

A doctor, who participated in the sit-in, demanded that the guilty should be awarded death sentence.

Another sit-in was organised by a group of youth in the city centre against the rape and murder of the minor girl.

“We condemn this barbaric act and demand capital punishment for criminals involved in this barbaric act,” said one of the protestor, Aijaz Ahmad.

Viqar Rasool, who had organised the protest, said government should not show any mercy with the accused.

The participants in both the protest sit-ins chanted slogans against rightwing Hindu Ekta Manch (HEM), which has been demanding release of the arrested SPOs.

Meanwhile, JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik today addressed a press conference in Srinagar and strongly condemned the brutal rape and murder of minor girl.

He demanded stern punishment to the culprits involved in the brutal act and denounced those, who were trying to shield the culprits.

“Nothing can be more evil and shameless than supporting the rapists and murderers of an 8 year old girl child and then threatening the community to which the child belonged of dire consequence,” Malik said.

JKLF chairman was later detained by police.

In a related development, HEM chairman Advocate Vijay Sharma has rejected the police probe and demanded the CBI probe.

“We don’t have faith in police investigation. We want CBI to probe the case,” Sharma told New Indian Express.

He alleged the arrested SPOs have been framed by police and forced to admit the guilt in police custody after being tortured.

Senior BJP leader and MoS PMO Dr Jitendra Singh has said there was no harm in ordering CBI probe into the incident.

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