Srinagar: Students of medicine, doctors and paramedical staff on Tuesday observed a sit in protest in solidarity with the Gujjar and Bakwerwal community of Jammu, who have been targeted with a social boycott and denial of water.
The discrimination has come to light, and seems to have been amplified after members from the community have demanded justice in the brutal rape and murder of a minor girl belonging to the nomadic Bakerwal community, of the Kathua region of Jammu, who are Muslim by faith.
In the central park of Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar, the medicos hold placards saying “hang the rapist”.
“We condemn those people who have marched for the culprit. They have taken the Indian national flag and have been protected by the police in Jammu, What does this show? This is not just human rights violations, but use of rape as a war weapon,” says Dr. Khawar.
The physical protest came a day after the hashtag #JusticeForAsifa took the form of an online campaign, with people changing their profile pictures to show their support and solidarity.
Netizens also drew parallels with Zainab, a minor in Pakistan who was raped and dumped in a garbage site.
Ahmed Touseef wrote, “first Zainab from Pakistan and now Asifa Banoo, a seven year old girl from Kathua who was raped and murdered. Humanity has died. My heart is deeply greived and overwhelmed with pain… #JusticeForAsifa is what we demand.”
Guftar Ahmed Chowdhary shared a video of protests in Jammu University. “Jammu University students protest against Kathua Incident where Asifa Bano was kidnapped, raped and murdered,” he wrote.
Earlier, the police in Jammu had detained three Gujjar youth from Kistwar district who were scheduled to address a Press Conference on Kathua minor’s brutal rape and murder case.
Srinagar based Rising Kashmir had reported that the three Gujjar youth were detained, including activist Owais Choudhary, from the Dak Bungalow of Kishtwar.
“A police team led by Station House Officer Kishtwar Sameer Jillani reached the spot and took the youth in a police vehicle to an unknown location,” the sources added.
The investigation into the rape and murder of eight-year-old minor of Hira Nagar Kathua has so far revealed that the accused had drugged her so that she would not cry for help, said an official privy to the probe. The investigation is being conducted by the Crime Branch of J&K police.
“The accused initially administered her with a locally available intoxicant. Later they gave her diazepam regularly so that she wouldn’t scream for help and catch attention of the passersby,” Srinagar based Greater Kashmir quoted the officer as saying.
The accused had held the girl captive for seven days before murdering her in a brutal manner. The official said the CB has identified the drug store where the accused had purchased drugs. The revelations come at a time when questions are being raised over the investigation the police had carried out before handing the case over to the CB.
A rally was held in Jammu in support of the rape and murder accused where protesters displayed the Indian flag, and were reportedly provided police protection.
The Joint resistance leadership (JRL) comprising of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik on Saturday had said that a rally that was organized in Jammu against the arrest of a ‘rapist and murderer’ is a glaring example of how ruling regime has crossed every limit of low with regards to humanity and ethics.
Terming the rally by Hindu Ekta Morcha in support of a ‘thug, rapist and murderer’, as a slap on the face of whole humanity, JRL said that this rally was led by a BJP assembly member which is actually a glaring proof of the fascist mindset of ruling class in India and Jammu Kashmir.
Recently, in a press conference, Chairman All Tribal Coordination Committee, Talib Hussain claimed that the real culprits in the rape and murder of minor Kathua girl were being shielded in a planned manner under the “guise of 15-year-old’s age”.
Hussain, who was detained during protests against the murder, said that the persons involved in this “heinous crime” are not being punished because of their “political influence”.
Addressing a presser after his release in Jammu, he said that circumstantial evidence on the basis of doctors’ version and people who gave her ceremonial bath suggest that girl was “brutally raped”.
“Her two ribs and a leg were broken. She was given electric shocks. She was clubbed by stones,” said Hussain.