Asifa incident creates atmosphere of fear, disharmony in Kathua
Srinagar, Feb 02: The alleged rape and murder of Asifa at Hiranagar, Kathua, has created an atmosphere of fear and disharmony in the area. According to Asifa’s family, children of Gujjar community have stopped grazing their cattle in forests, while only a few go to the schools after since the incident took place the last month. They said the children, too, were apprehensive that they might be also attacked following the uneasy calm prevailing in the area. Ali Jan, uncle of Asifa, said the children of their community no more accompany their families to cattle grazing in the forests. “Even elderly people have kept themselves confined to their homes. Our children wilfully want to remain indoors fearing they will be murdered like Asifa,” he said. Narrating the incident his mother faced three days before, Ali said she was constantly asked by the people of majority community not to take out their cattle to graze in their areas. “My mother was abused by some boys and was threatening for being my mother as I actively raised voice against the murder and rape of Asifa,” he said. Ali said that they have been living a life of fear. “We are being treated as Jangli. We would move freely earlier, but now people feel like they are not safe here,” he said. Haji Jabbar, a teacher from Gujjar Community said the parents would often accompany their children to school after the incident. “Every parent here accompanies the children to schools. Even after 5pm, we don’t allow them to move out till justice is delivered to the family of Asifa,” he said. Jabbar said that a few parents have disallowed their children to go to schools due to the tension in the area. “Yesterday, I sought reason from one local for not sending his children to school. He said that his family was fearful that the children might be targeted and attacked,” he said. As per the family, Asifa was abducted on January 12 from near her home in Rasana. They allege she was sexually abused before her being murdered. Her dead body was recovered in forest area around 3 km away from her home. The Gujjar community claims they have been facing immense problems after the incident. They said many have been branding them as “Paksitan sympathisers” when they protest against the incident.