By Hirra Azmat
Srinagar, Apr 14: Almost three months after the 8-year-old child’s battered body was found in Kathua, people, including commoners and celebrities, have now broken their silence against the brutal crime on different social media platforms.
The Crime Branch on Tuesday filed a charge-sheet into the gruesome incident, which reveals the horrific details.
Now celebrities, authors and other well-known personalities across India and abroad are using social media to express their anger at the case.
Farhan Akhtar, director and actor wrote on Twitter, “Imagine what goes through the mind of an 8 yr old as she is drugged, held captive, gang raped over days and then murdered. If you don’t feel her terror, you are not human. If you don’t demand Asifa get justice, you belong to nothing.”
Similarly, Bollywood actress, Sonam Kapoor took to Twitter to express her anger. She wrote, “Ashamed appalled and disgusted by fake nationals and fake Hindus. I cannot believe this is happening in my country.”
Actress Richa Chada also Tweeted, “LET THE WORLD KNOW WE DEFEND OUR RAPISTS, we commit atrocities in places of worship and desecrate the Flag. Thank God international press isn’t for sale. Hopefully bad PR may get the administration to act? Also, a woman as a CM is such a poor joke @mehbooba. Aisi bhi kya alliance ?
Pakistani cricketer, Shahid Afridi wrote in a Tweet: “Whether 6 year old Zainab of Kasur or 8year old Asifa of Jammu, these barbaric inhuman acts shud be punished to the max, let these cases be a lesson for the culprits whr no daughter will ever be subjected to this heinous act.”
Reacting to the protest by lawyers in support of the accused, cricketer Gautam Gambhir posted on his Twitter handle, “Shame on those, especially the lawyers, who are challenging and obstructing Deepika Singh Rajawat, the counsel of our victimised daughter from Kathua.”
Predictably, the Tweets and Facebook posts from Kashmir and those from mainland India are completely different. While Bollyood and mainland India claims her as the nation’s daughter, Kashmir thinks it is an appropriation of narratives.
In a FB post, Chairperson of State’s Women Commission, Nayeema Mehjoor wrote, “Our demand is fast track justice for Kathua girl. No comments plz. Say yes if you support. Jk n Delhi COMMISSION’S joint demand.”
In another post, she wrote: “Plz don’t make Kathua rape an issue of this or that religion. Those chargesheeted r criminals in the eyes of law. Instead of making it religio-political issue, plz support our demand for fast track justice n severe punishment. We r fighting against crime not against any religion.”
Former chief minister, Omar Abdullah Tweeted: “Kathua is about the rape and murder of an eight year old child & the need to see justice done in the case. The rest of the noise is just an obfuscation.”
Habeel Iqbal, a Kashmiri lawyer wrote, “The lawyers from Shopian Kashmir are facing a trial in the CBI court, Srinagar for bringing out the truth in the case of Aasiya & Neelofar, while the lawyers are having a field day after obstructing public servants from discharging their duties.”
Valley based journalist, Gowhar Geelani tweeted: “People arguing that the brutal gang-rape, kidnapping, torture & murder of 8-year-old girl #Asifa is “not about religion” are liars of highest order. The rape was about the land. Aimed at dislodging Bakherwals 4m Hindu-dominated Kathua. It’s about the religion. Hindu Ekta Manch. BJP.”
Meanwhile, a Kerala journalist’s post has gone viral on social networking sites after he named his new born daughter after Asifa.
The journalist, Rajith Ram on Facebook, “As the father of a seven-year-old daughter, I felt angry and got frustrated at the events that took place even after that hideous act. That such barbaric, cruel acts still happen in our country, is a disturbing thought for a father of two girls like me. When the thought occurred to me to name my second daughter who was born on February 4, after ‘….’ I discussed it with my wife Sandhya. She readily agreed to the idea.”
While right wing groups and individuals have yet again spread fake news and spewed vitriol on social media after the event. In one such incident, a private bank official was terminated from his job after his social media post on the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl at Kathua invited massive outrage demanding his removal from the services.
Vishnu Nandakumar, an assistant manager with Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Palarivattom branch in Kochi, expressed happiness at the child’s death saying, “It’s good that she has been killed. Otherwise, tomorrow, she might turn against India as a human bomb.”
Upcoming snow spell: Avalanche warning issued for Kashmir, Ladakh districts
Srinagar, Jan 19: Kashmir areas experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday, with the weather office forecasting more in store for the next three days.
“A western disturbance (WD) is presently active over the state under whose influence moderate to heavy snowfall is likely to occur in the valley till January 23 after which the intensity of the WD will start decreasing,” a Met Department official said here.
District administrations have set up helplines to help prevent any untoward incident due to the heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan Saturday issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
As per the hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DC’s to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.
While the nightlong cloud cover increased minimum temperatures throughout the valley on Saturday, the maximum temperatures are expected to drop further, the weather official said.
Srinagar recorded minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 4.4 and Gulmarg minus 7.0 as the minimum temperatures.
Leh town had minus 9.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil minus 18.9 as the night’s lowest temperature.
Jammu city recorded 8.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 9.1, Batote 3.9, Bannihal 2.3 and Bhaderwah 1.3 as the minimum temperatures.
UN clearly did its job: Guterres on Kashmir human rights report
United Nations: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan will engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues.
The UN chief also said he has been offering his “good offices in relation to the dialogue between the two countries that, until now, had no conditions of success.”
Guterres was speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
“I hope that the importance of both India and Pakistan is such in international affairs, I hope that the two countries will be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue,” he said.
The UN chief was responding to a question on his repeated urging of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
In relation to the human rights situation, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has produced recently a very detailed report. So, the UN has clearly done its job in that regard, Guterres said to a question by a Pakistan journalist on the situation in Kashmir.
Day after grenade attack, forces conduct search op in Lal Chowk
Srinagar: A joint search operation was launched by the forces and police in the commercial Hub Lal Chowk area of Srinagar on Saturday.
The search came a day after the grenade attack took place in the locality, which left a vehicle and windowpanes of some shops damaged.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed near the Clock Tower here while the frisking was also intensified.
They said that drones too were used during the operation.
However, a top police official said that it was a routine exercise ahead of upcoming Republic Day.