Indian Overseas Congress, USA joins millions of non-resident Indians across the globe in condemning the horrific rape and murder of an eight-year-old child Asifa Bano in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua. The barbarity and the bestiality involved in the killing of this little girl show the depraved and criminal mindsets of those who perpetrated such heinous acts. The ghastly way this girl was raped and murdered has indeed shaken the nation to its core and terrorized the people of conscience across the world.
Asifa Bano, belonging to the Bakarwal community in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, was kidnapped, drugged and brutally gang-raped for three days. Her strangled body that was found on January 17, 2018, bore mute testimony to the inhumanity of her tormentors.
Police reports indicate Asifa was locked inside a temple and repeatedly raped for three days and finally strangled to death. A police charge sheet also said before her head was bashed with a stone, one of the assailants – a police officer – had asked the killer to wait so he could rape the child for one last time.
Days before this horrific murder was reported, another young girl from Unnao in U.P. had tried to commit suicide outside Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s house. She said she had been raped by BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sehgar and his brother a year ago. A day later, her father, who had been mercilessly thrashed for his refusal to withdraw the case, died.
Holding him responsible for the “terrifying state of affairs,” 49 retired civil servants, in an open letter urged Prime Minister Modi to reach out to the families of the Kathua and Unnao rape victims to “seek their forgiveness.” Part of the statement reads as follows:
“Prime Minister, it is your party which is in power. Given your supremacy within the party and the centralized control you and your party president exercise, you more than anyone else, have to be held responsible for this terrifying state of affairs. Instead of owning up and making reparations, however, you had until yesterday chosen to remain silent, breaking your silence only when public outage both in India and internationally reached a point when you could no longer ignore it.”
“And even then, while you have condemned the act and expressed a sense of shame, you have not condemned the communal pathology behind the act nor shown the resolve to change the social, political and administrative conditions under which such communal hate is bred. We have had enough of these belated remonstrations and promises to bring justice when the communal cauldron is forever kept boiling by forces nested within the Sangh Parivar” the statement added.
It is believed that this was done as part of a deliberate terror tactic to drive out a Muslim nomad community to which Asifa belonged. Different arms of the local government and political groups conspired to subvert the initial investigation and are using extrajudicial means to protect the accused.
The United Nations on Friday termed the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district as horrific, PTI reported.
“I think we have seen the media reports of this horrific case, of the abuse and the murder of a young girl,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujjaric told reporters. “We very much hope that the authorities will bring the perpetrators to justice, so they can be held accountable for the murder of this young girl.”
“It is indeed the growing culture of violence emanating out of the wrong-headed sense of ultra-nationalism and majoritarian arrogance that is polarizing the communities and dividing the nation,” said George Abraham, Vice-Chairman for the Indian Overseas Congress, USA. “We call upon the Modi Government to stop paying lip service with slogans like “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” and provide true leadership in bringing perpetrators of this pervasive rape and abuse of women culture across the country to justice regardless of their party affiliations and oust any government official who remain stumbling blocks to that effort” Abraham added.