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‘BJP leaders shielding culprits’

Kashmiris protest against Kuthua incident


Srinagar, Feb 22 (KNS): Several protests were held in Kashmir against the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Kuthua girl.
On January 17, the body of the Asifa, a Gujjar girl was found in the forests near Rasana, Hiranagar. She had been missing for a week. The police claim she had been abducted and raped. According to some reports, she had been drugged so that she could not cry for help.
So far, three persons including two policemen have been arrested. On February 14, the Hindu Ekta Manch led by the BJP leader held a protest march in favour of the accused persons in the rape and murder case.
According to reports received by KNS while the Joint Resistance Leadership held a protest at Srinagar’s Abi Guzar. Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were kept under house arrest. However, the protest rally was led by Mohammad Yasin Malik, which was foiled before marching towards Lal Chowk. Malik was arrested along with several protestors.
In his telephonic address to the rally, Geelani appealed people from all sections of society and particularly non-Muslim community and human rightist groups in Jammu, asked to come in support of victim’s family so that perpetrators are punished for their heinous crime.
He said, “We are duty-bound to honor, safeguard and defend precious human lives and religious values irrespective of their faith, creed colour and cast. It is quite disgusting that instead of this we see the humans are being mercilessly slaughtered everywhere."
“Their properties looted and their chastity being continuously tarnished and all this butchery is being carried out under the glaring eyes of ruling elite as the people at the helm of affairs are acting as stooges and as deaf-mute spectators,” said Geelani.
He claimed that Muslim community in Jammu are being subjected to worst situations by these elements.
Elaborating, he said, “I am pained at the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl Asifa in Kathua. It is a slur for those rhetoric about their claims for being a part of great democracy. They are shielding criminals and it is very disgusting, deplorable and horrific, that a rally in Kathua led by a BJP leader in support of a special police officer (SPO) arrested for rape and murder of an eight-year-old nomad girl, was provided security."
Slamming administration for their failure, Geelani said, Asifa “could have been saved from these butchers, if action would have been initiated in time, instead of this the killers and those involved in this heinous crime, were part of search and investigating team”.
“I am astonished and I feel extreme pain that instead of helping to trace culprits and accord them with stringent punishment, a rally in Kathua led by a BJP leader under the banner of Hindu Ekta Manch in support of a criminal arrested for rape and murder of nomad girl, sent disturbing and heart-breaking signals. It is a slur for their so-called democracy and despite their rhetoric “Beti Padow, Beti Bachow” illustrates their fascist mindset,” he said.
In his address, Mirwaiz said that BJP was “shielding” the culprits involved in the heinous crime. “BJP leaders held the rally in support of the culprits and are harassing Gujjars. Gujjars are also being boycotted,” Mirwaiz claimed.
He blamed the PDP-BJP government in the state for “strengthening” the communal forces.
“Since the PDP-BJP government has come to the power in JK, Gujjars and common Muslims are being harassed in the state,” he said.
He said that some people were giving this incident a “communal” colour. “Instead seeking punishment, some people are supporting the perpetrators,” Mirwaiz said.
Malik, the JKLF Chairman, said that it had never happened when rally was held in favour of the rapist. “The fascist government in New Delhi is harassing Muslim in the name of love jihad, and beef,” he said.
Apparently referring to Mehbooba Mufti, Malik said that the party, which claimed before elections would “protect the martyrs”, has maintained the silence.
“Now a rally is being allowed by her government and supporting the rapist and killers,” he said.
Kashmiri Pandit leader and academician, Professor Vaishnavi, while seeking punishment to culprits, said that “JK was political disturbed not the mentally disturbed”. “Every one should listen to their conscience and seek harsh punishment to the culprits. Either government has no will to punish culprits or is morally weak,” he said.
Christian father Veenu appealed the government to give harsh punishment to the culprits. “We condemn this incident and everyone should seek strict punishment,” he said.
Davendar Singh from Sikh community, traders, civil society leaders, and people from other walks of life also participated in the rally.
Meanwhile, a civil society group also held a protest at Srinagar’s Pratap Park against the incident.
Professor Hameeda Nayeem claimed that Muslims were being “harassed” in Jammu. “The culprits should be given strict punishment instead shielding them,” she said.
A civil society member, Shakeel Qalandar, said that they stand with the family of the girl. “We stand with Gujjars. We want justice should be given to the family like in the Nirbhaya or in Zainab case,” Qalandar said. (KNS)