SRINAGAR: Justice for Asifa campaign has gained momentum in Kashmir Valley after a pro-rape rally was taken out by some vested interest elements in Kathua, demanding release of the accused and handing over the case to Central Bureau Investigation. Minor girl Asifa was made captive and then raped and murdered in Heranagar area of Kathua district of Jammu region. After feeling pressure from Opposition parties, Mehbooba Mufti led government handed over the case to Crime Branch which have so far arrested three persons including the main culprit SPO Deepak Khujurai who during questioning not only confessed the crime but also revealed that he committed the heinous crime to instill fear among nomad Muslim community.
Ever since the arrest of the culprit, the right wing parties supported by BJP are not only raising questions on Crime Branch but are also demanding the release of the accused. However, in Kashmir the scene is different where everyone is backing Crime Branch probe. Justice for Asifa campaign have brought people from different shades of society and professions together who are demanding stringent punishment for the accused.
Lawyers, Doctors, Civil Society members, students all have come together under the banner ‘Solidarity Forum-Justice for Asifa’. They staged a silent sit-in here in Kashmir capital Srinagar. They said the incident has shaken the foundations of Kashmir society and marred the soul of people. Taking a dig at Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh Rana who has said that case should be transferred from Crime Branch to CBI, senior civil society members Shakeel Qalandar said that Rana has no faith in the institutions of Jammu and Kashmir but in order to save the culprits he wants to handover the case to CBI that is on the beck and call of BJP.
“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 Manch has taken cudgels with the government and is shoring support to help exonerate the dreaded rapists and murderers,” the protesters said. They said they will ceaselessly protest to ensure that the administration, police and judiciary work in tandem to make sure the criminals who mercilessly murdered and raped an innocent child are dealt with punishment that matches their crime.