Law & Justice

Protest rage in Kashmir against minor’s rape, govt states probe on fast track

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday said that inquiry into the rape of a three-year-old girl in Sumbal north Kashmir was being organized on a fast track basis even as protests continued to convulse the valley.

At various places protestors clashed with the police in which 54 people were injured, police said. The protests have raged even after the accused was arrested on the day of the crime on May 8.

Kashmir’s Divisional Commissioner, Baseer Ahmad Khan said a fast track probe on into the crime. “I am personally monitoring the inquiry and will be concluded very soon.’’ He stated that justice will be done and the culprit will be given severe punishment as per law.

Meanwhile, protesting villagers blocked traffic on the Srinagar – Baramulla national highway at Singhpore and its adjoining areas. Police, however, swung into action and used tear gas shells to disperse the protestors. The youths who were carrying placards and banners pelted stones on the police and vehicles plying on the national highway.

Protests were also held in Magam, Sumbal, some parts of Srinagar and Shopian in South Kashmir. Students of Islamic University also held protest on their campus and demanded exemplary punishment for the accused. A protest rally was also taken out at business nerve center Lal Chowk. A shutdown was observed in Srinagar and some other parts of the Valley but traffic was plying normally on the roads.

A Police spokesperson said that miscreants staged protests and pelted stones on security forces deployed on the national highway at Mirgund, Chainable, Harthrath, Singhpora, Jheel bridge, Kripalpora Payeen, and Hanjiwera areas resulting in injuries to 47 security forces personnel including an Assistant Commandant of SSB who was hit on his head. “However, the police maintained restraint. Seven miscreants also got injured but al is stable.’’

Protests have been raging for the past three days in different parts of the Valley as the outrage grows against rape by the minor’s neighbor in the holy month of Ramazan on May 8.

Police have already arrested the accused and constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the matter.

A group of women under Kashmir Women’s Collective urged the governor for institutionalized support for rape victims. “We request the governor to start a full-fledged rape crisis centre, build a shelter home for women, to have fast track courts, to have professionally run helplines, to have training programs that imparts training to police, teachers, doctors and let’s have mental health counselors and therapists for girls and women who face violence,” they wrote on Facebook.

“It is a policy matter. It is a societal issue. It is a feminist issue and an issue of humanity. There’s zero support on the ground for victims. There’s no understanding in media on not to name the victim but the culprit. The victim is named as if she’s the culprit,” the group stressed.

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