The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, Friday strongly condemned the brutal rape and murder of 8-year-old girl Asifa Bano of Kathua and demanded awarding of death sentence to the culprits.
“The rape and murder of Asifa should have shaken all those who believe in human values and democracy in India. Their criminal silence over this gruesome incident is a big blot on their faces,” said JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin while addressing a press conference at Abi Guzar area, here.
He said JRL and people of J&K are demanding in unison that the guilty involved in the act be hanged.
Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani and Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who are under house arrest, also addressed the press conference via phone.
Geelani in his speech said no religion in the world allows the rape of minors and the recent incident of rape and murder Asifa is not only heart wrenching but also condemnable in all words.
He said the incident is a blot on the face of entire humanity and the act deserves all forms of condemnation.
Geelani demanded that those involved in the gruesome act should be brought to book and hanged in public.
He alleged that PDP and its ally BJP is trying hard to trigger a communal flare up in the region and this is the reason that BJP and its allies like RSS and Hindu Ekta Manch are giving a communal touch to trigger fire in the J&K.
In his telephonic address, Mirwaiz said the rape and murder of eight-year-old girl deserves highest form of condemnation and efforts by the ruling dispensation to shield and to give cover to the real culprits is the biggest irony.
He said the incident has left people of all communities of J&K in deep shock and grief. “What has further hurt the sentiments of people of J&K is the efforts of cover up by the ruling regimes partner the BJP, which is trying hard to protect the men involved in this gruesome act,” Mirwaiz said adding it was ironical that RSS and Hindu Ekta Manch are openly carrying out protest marches in favour of guilty and threatening boycotts and hartals.
Mirwaiz said that it was more painful that on one hand rape of minor is being committed and on the other, pro-Hindutva forces are rallying behind the culprits to ensure they are protected and given a safe passage.
“It is highly condemnable that culprits and their supporters are threatening and warning the poor members of Muslim Gujjar community,” the Hurriyat (M) chairman said and cautioned that targeting the Gujjar community would have serious repercussion.
Malik said Muslim of entire Jammu region are being subjected to worst form of repression, resulting in their insecurity and the incident that has taken place at Kathua is not gruesome but has shaken the entire humanity.
He said warnings and threats issued to Gujjar community is highly deplorable.
“The RSS-backed Hindu Ekta Manch, which is on the forefront of supporting the culprits, is an eye opener how government is trying to shield the real culprits. Once again the vision and programs of fascists have come to open forum,” Malik said.
He said not only in J&K but in entire India Muslims are feeling insecure and this has happened soon after the BJP-led regime took reins of power.
He said Jammu Muslims can’t be left on the mercy of communal elements and fanatic elements and that people of Kashmir should stand shoulder to shoulder with them.
Some civil society members and traders including Prof Veshnavovi, Father Veno, Muhammad Yasin Khan and Parveena Ahanger also addressed the press conference and demanded stern action against the guilty.
Later, on the call of JRL, Malik led a protest march at Lal Chowk. However, the protestors were intercepted by police and the cops detained Malik, APDP chairperson Parveena Ahmad, woman separatist leader Yasmin Raja and other separatist activists and leaders and lodged them in nearby police station. Rising Kashmir.—Agencies