Kathua Rape and Murder Case: Women activists group call for end to ‘politicization, communalization’

Srinagar: Expressing deep anguish over the delay in investigations into the rape and murder of a minor Kathua girl, a group of women activists from Jammu and Kashmir Wednesday called upon all political groups to put an end to the horrifying politicization and communalization of the crime; as well as to stop the harassment to the family of Asifa.

“We call upon all political groups to put an end to the horrifying politicization and communalization of the crime; as well as to stop the harassment to the family of Asifa. As women, we are extremely shocked and appalled by the manner in which incidents of gender oppression are appropriated by patriarchal mindsets within and outside the corridors of power to subvert justice and even rob the victims of their victimhood,” a spokesperson of the group said.

Hitting out at the investigating agencies handling the case, they activists’ group alleged that the necessary process of investigation including collection of evidence and recording of statements was not adequately done.

Instead, they alleged, the family of the victim and those campaigning for justice have been constantly harassed and intimidated.

The group while alleging that there is  design behind shifting the case said that any attempt to shift it (case) to any other investigating agency at this juncture would further hamper the investigations.

“We fear that this (shifting the case to any other agency) may be done with a design to shield and protect the guilty”  they said.

They also questioned the pace at which the investigation is being done.

“While the Crime Branch is following the legal procedure, the pace of work is being obstructed by the pitch of communalization and politicization”.

Alleging that there is a deliberate attempt to hush up the case by building up a communal narrative around the heinous crime and its investigations, the activists’ group said that, shockingly, the vested interests are trying to sabotage the investigations through the communalization of the crime and its politicization do not only include a fringe right wing group but also two sitting senior ministers in the PDP-BJP ruling alliance.

The group called upon the government to ensure that investigations by the Crime Branch are fast tracked and are fair to be followed by a fast track court trial so that justice can be dispensed. s

Notably, the women activists group consists of Anuradha Bhasin-Executive Editor Kashmir Times, Nighat Shafi Pandit-Founder-Chairperson of HELP Foundation, Neerja Mattoo,-Writer and Educationist (Retd. College Principal), Shehla Rashid Shora-former Vice-President, JNU Students’ Union, Nitasha Kaul-Academic, writer and poet, Pawan Bali-Senior journalist and film-maker, Mandeep Reen-Advocate J&K High Court, Nyla Ali Khan-writer and Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma, Essar Batool-Author and human rights activist, Mantasha Binti Rashid-Scholar and Fulbright Fellow, Marvi Slathia- Research Scholar at JNU, Nusrat Andrabi-Educationist and retired college principal, Dr Syeda Afshana- Columnist and faculty at MERC, University of Kashmir, Ezabir Ali-Women’s Rights Activist.

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