54 injured as protests over 3-year-old’s rape intensify
“I am personally monitoring the inquiry and it will be concluded very soon,” divisional commissioner (Kashmir) Baseer Ahmad Khan said. He said justice will be done and the culprit will be given severe punishment as per the law.Updated: May 13, 2019 23:50 IST
The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday said the inquiry into the alleged rape of a three-year-old girl in north Kashmir’s Sumbal is being conducted on a fast track basis.
“I am personally monitoring the inquiry and it will be concluded very soon,” divisional commissioner (Kashmir) Baseer Ahmad Khan said. He said justice will be done and the culprit will be given severe punishment as per the law.
A neighbour allegedly raped the girl on May 8. The accused is being treated as a major even as the police are looking into the reports that he could be a minor.
Officials said Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik has directed the inspector general of police S P Pani to “work swiftly in the case” and ensure that the culprit gets exemplary punishment.
Meanwhile, protests against the rape continued on the fourth day on Monday at several places across the state. At many places, protestors clashed with the police. As many as 54 people were injured in the clashes, police said.
The protesters also blocked traffic on the Srinagar-Baramulla national highway at Singhpora.
Protests were also held in Magam, Sumbal, some parts of Srinagar and Shopian in South Kashmir. Students of Islamic University also held a protest on their campus and demanded exemplary punishment for the accused. A protest rally was also taken out at Srinagar’s business hub of Lal Chowk. A shutdown was observed in Srinagar and some other parts of the Valley.
The protesters carried placards and banners and threw stones at the police and vehicles on the national highway. The police resorted to use of tear gas shells to disperse the protesters.
A police spokesman said protesters threw stones at the security forces deployed on the national highway at Mirgund, Chainabal, Harthrath, Singhpora, Jheel bridge, Kripalpora Payeen, and Hanjiwera areas, resulting in injuries to 47 security forces personnel. An Assistant Commandant of Sashastra Seema Bal was hit on his head. “The police maintained restraint...seven miscreants also got injured... they are all stable,” he said.
Former minister Sajad Lone condemned the use of pellets on the protesters. “Use of pellets against those protesting the rape of a three-year-old girl goes against all norms. Has the J&K Police forgotten non-Lethal crowd control? Heaven’s sake. Understand there is anger and anger in such a case is normal,’’ he tweeted.
The accused has been arrested and police have constituted a special investigation team to probe the matter.
A group of women under the banner of Kashmir Women’s Collective asked the governor to provide institutionalised support to rape survivors. “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,” the group wrote on Facebook.