Shopian tragedy: Ahangers vow to fight for justice on 5th anniversary eve

Shabir Ahmad
Anantnag: The family of two young women, who were allegedly gang raped and murdered five years ago by men in uniform in Shopian, said on Wednesday that the denial of justice by the state will not break their resolve and deter them from fighting for the only ‘cause’ of their life.
“The case may be a closed chapter for others but the wounds inflicted on us by the killers are still afresh in our minds, as if this tragedy has struck us five minutes ago. The separation of my wife and sister continues to haunt me. Our wounds will never heal,” Shakeel Ahmad Ahanger, husband of Nilofar and brother of Asiya, told Kashmir Reader.
On May 29 in 2009, Asiya Jan, 17, and her pregnant sister-in-law Nilofar were allegedly kidnapped, gang raped and later murder by uniformed men. Their bodies were found near Rambiar Nallah.
Initially, the state government ruled out rape and murder of the young women and claimed the victims died due to drowning. However, as the protests intensified across the Valley particularly Shopian district, the government led by Omar Abdullah announced a time bound probe by a former High Court judge. On June 8, 2009, the then DGP, Kuldeep Khoda ordered a three-member special investigation team to probe the incident. The case was later handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation, which concluded that the women had “died of drowning”.
Shakeel said the family will continue to strive for justice.
“If the authorities think we have forgotten Asiya and Nilofar, they are mistaken. We’ll not give up. We’ll fight for justice till end,” he said, adding “We know that we are demanding justice from the killers and will never get the same. But giving up fight means being a coward.”
To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the victims, Shakeel said, the family is Thursday organizing a remembrance meet in Rambiara, the spot from where the bodies were found.
“Remembering them at Rambiara will be a tribute to the victims. The meet in which representatives of women groups and people of Shopian will participate is aimed to convey to the authorities that we have not forgotten Asiya and Nilofar,” Shakeel added.