Asifa : Raped, Murdered & Politicised

The recent heart-wrenching gangrape and a murder case of an 8 year old little girl Ashifa of the poor Bakerwal family of Rasana village of Jammu division has widely shaken and deeply shocked the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir in particular and the whole country in general. It was 10th of February 2018 when Ashifa was looking for her ponies in a nearby jungle. Though, ponies came back but Ashifa didn’t. Initially, the family members and the relatives of Ashifa searched a lot but found nothing. Next day the family members of the little girl lodged a missing FIR in Hirananger Police station Jammu. It is important to note here that if Hirananger police has shown some seriousness in the case in its initial stage , today Ashifa would have been with her family but according to family members and some news reports they were reluctant and nonserious in the case because after investigations it was found that behind the abduction, gangrape and murder case of Ashifa two Policemen are also among the main culprits who not only raped the little girl but also destroyed the evidences of the case and threatened the family members of Ashifa.
However,the unfortunate kidnapping, held captive for several days in a local temple , gangraped repeatedly and stoned to death has not only trampled and ruined the hopes of her family but we as society time and again failed to protect our own daughters and sisters from these criminals. Indeed, three months back humanity and sympathy died miserably in Kathua. Ashifa’s dead body was found on 17th of February 2018 in a nearby forest with rugged clothes, injured hands and broken legs, later it was found that Ashifa was gangraped. The chilling investigations by the Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch had revealed that 8 years old Ashifa was repeatedly drugged held captive for several days and was repeatedly raped and then strangulated by the culprits.
Doubtlessly, Ashifa’s case is beyond description , sending shivers across the spine and jolts ones heart. The way Ashifa was starved and sedated is brute and inhuman. It brings tears in ones eye if one try to think again and again about Ashifa. It is true that Ashifa is not the first victim who was abducted, sedated, held captive in a sacred place (temple) without food for several days, gangraped and stoned to death, incidents like this have time and again shaken and shocked the Indian state. To mitigate this heinous crime & to serve justice to victims the death penalty to accused persons is the only solution.
On one hand it is very unfortunate and sad state of affairs to say that how the rape and murder case of Ashifa was Communalized and politicized by a handful of people and on the other hand despite knowing the facts well that a little girl was raped and then murdered the two shamlessness BJP cabinet ministers joined the rallies and supported in favour of the criminals only because of the vote bank & being pseudo Hindus. These are the so called the pseudo Hindu nationalists who repeatedly tried to protect the accused persons either by organizing rallies using Tri Colour in hand and chanting “Jai Shri Ram” or “Bharat Mata ki Jai” slogans or by shameless lawyers who are supposed to up hold law and order are the real wolfs in black coat and the blot on J&K judiciary. These lawyers should be punished and their license should also be canceled.Secretary of the All India Progressive women’s Association Kavita Krishnan wrote ” Modi spoke on the jyoti Singh rape and murder case because then it was politically convenient to use the rape to target the congress, he is silent on Ashifa because it is politically inconvenient to risk offending the Hindu Ekta Manch which is so closely associated with his own party. She further argued when Jyoti Singh was raped and murdered in Delhi in 2012 the whole country rallied for her without at the time knowing her name or caste or community, Modi the the Gujarat Chief Minister called her ” Bharat ki Beti”. Today what stops Modi from speaking about Ashifa. In his eyes, is Ashifa not ‘Bharat ki Beti” and if so why not ? Shujaat Bukhari Chief Editor of daily Rising Kashmir rightly wrote ” if the horrifying rape and murder of a women in Delhi had led to strong protests by members of civil society which brought radical changes in India’s anti rape laws, this solidarity is missing in the Kathua case. The child’s assultand death is being used by HINDUTVA groups to communally polarize the state”. On the other hand Brinda Karat a Rajya Sabha member wrote in The Hindu ” In the Kathua and Unnao cases, the common feature is the blatant support given by BJP leaders and their Sangh Parivar partners to those accused of rape. India has seen the results of the marauding violence of “gau rakshaks”. Now a new brand of politics has appeared of “rapist rakshaks”. When Union Minister V.K. Singh tweets on the Kathua rape victim that “we failed her as humans”, he should clarify that the “we” in his tweet means all his colleagues in Jammu and U.P. who are even today standing not with the victim but with the accused — whether they can be considered human is an open question”.
However, without denying the facts , the rise of right wing and ultranationalist vicious forces across the country have brutally and largely damaged the secular nature, integrity and the diversity of the Indian state. It is high time to maintain sainty in India otherwise the days are not far when there will be many divisions in a single country, some on the basis of ethnicity , religion , region and ideology. Moreover, We the concerned citizens of the society across the regional, political, ideological, caste and community lines must speak up against every crime and wrong doings.

(The author is a pass out of the P G Department of International Relations Islamic University of Science & Technology Awantipora. His views are personal)

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