Srinagar: A gathering of concerned civilians and activists under the banner of Justice for Asifa Solidarity Forum held a sit in protest in Partap Park of Srinagar and demanded a speedy investigation to punish the perpetrators.
Chairperson, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) Parveena Ahanger, was detained and taken away in a police vehicle as soon as she joined the protest.
The protesters expressed their fear that the march taken out in support of the accused had the support of the government.
“It has been nothing short of outrageous to witness the local community in Kathua shielding the accused and his accomplices. We are fearful that the Hindu Ekta March has taken cudgels with the government and is showering support to help exonerate the dreaded rapist and murderer,” the activists said in a statement.
The statement added, “The Ekta March was reportedly held under police protection which is nothing short of jarring for any law abiding citizen. the turn of events has made us concerned about the open impunity displayed against Asifa’s family who belonged to an ordinary marginalized and victimized Gujjar community by these brazenly communal forces.”
The members of the forum said that their protests will continue till the harassment of the family and the Gujjar community doesn’t stop.
“We want want to inform the government that our peaceful protest will continue in varied forms to ensure that the communal and biased forces do not become successful in aiding the release of the perpetrators and harassing the Gujjar community. It is widely reported that the victim’s family and the community at large is being harassed.”
Earlier during the day, the Joint Resistance Leadership also held a protest rally in the Abi Guzar area of the city and demanded that the accused should be hanged.