Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah on Saturday vowed to ensure “life imprisonment or hanging” for the perpetrators of Shopian rape and murder case.
This was Abdullah’s first visit to Kashmir after taking oath as Union minister in New Delhi on May 28. After landing in Srinagar on Saturday he drove straight to Humhama, a residential locality near the airport, to address a public gathering.
“The perpetrators of the Shopian outrage will be given exemplary punishment. I, too, have daughters and we are not going to tolerate this. Whosoever is involved will be given life (imprisonment) or hanged,” he said, referring to the rape and murder of 17-year-old Asiya Jan and her 22-year-old sister-in-law, Nelofar Jan.
The incident had sparked off widespread anger and violent agitations throughout the Kashmir.
He welcomed Union Home Minister P Chidambaram’s statement that that government would look at the issue revoking the controversial Armed Forces Special Power’s Act (AFSPA), which shields security personnel from legal proceedings.
The feeling in Kashmir is this act has allowed the security forces to get away, literally, with murder.
Chidambaram said on Friday that the army should be deployed only for securing India’s external borders while the police took on its mandated role of ensuring internal security.
He, however, did not specify any time frame for removing armed forces from residential areas or revoking AFSPA.
“The police should show more verve to deal with every situation so that there is no need of troops,” Abdullah said, adding “AFSPA will go in due course.”
Farooq backs Women’s Reservation Bill
Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah has said he fully supports the Women’s Reservation Bill that is due to be taken up by Parliament soon.
Addressing a function late on Friday night in Srinagar, Abdullah said: “I would love to take birth again to see 50 per cent men and 50 per cent women taking part in every field. We (men) should give up the attitude of masters. If we don’t, we will not survive.”