Shocked that Kathua case occurred in a land that worships goddess Durga: Mehbooba Mufti
Society’s value system is in a real crisis, says Jammu and Kashmir chief minister at sixth convocation of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University.india Updated: Apr 18, 2018 21:54 IST
Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday expressed shock over the alleged gang-rape and murder of a minor in a land where people regard little girls as reincarnations of goddess Durga.
Mufti was referring to the alleged rape-cum-murder of an eight-year-old girl by right-wing activists at Kathua in January. The incident shook the country’s conscience, spurring people across its expanse to take out protest rallies.
Speaking at the sixth convocation of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University here, the chief minister said: “When we talk of the value system, I think it is under a real crisis. Recent occurrences against weaker and underprivileged sections, especially females, have shaken us as a society.”
The Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in the Trikuta Hills – known to be the goddess’ abode – is probably the best testimony of society’s value system when it comes to treatment of women, Mufti said.
Recalling the days spent visiting the cave shrine in her childhood, the chief minister said: “The entire set of rituals in this part of the state revolves around the Kanya Pujan, because here we literally worship girls as reincarnations of the goddess Durga. How could anybody commit such a heinous act against one such living form of the Mata (mother) in her own land?”
Mufti said material progress of any sort becomes meaningless if people fail to inculcate the qualities of compassion, humanity and inclusiveness.
A charge-sheet filed by the state crime branch revealed that the girl – belonging to the nomadic Bakarwal community – was starved, drugged and gang-raped in a temple before she was finally killed.
First Published: Apr 18, 2018 21:53 IST