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Jammu & Kashmir: Minor gang-raped in Kishtwar, two held

28th Jul 2013

Jammu & Kashmir, India, (Greater Kashmir): Two persons were arrested in connection with the alleged gang-rape of a minor girl in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said Saturday.

Protests rocked the district against the incident. The incident took place on the intervening night of July 24 and 25 when the 15-year-old girl was abducted and gang-raped by four youths in Bhatkot village of the district,  DSP Kishtwar, Farooq Qaiser said.

Later, after the girl returned home and informed her family members about her ordeal, they lodged a complaint against the accused.

The duo, identified as Ranjeet Singh and Sanjeet Kumar, was arrested yesterday while efforts are on to nab the remaining accused, police added. Protests were held in Kishtwar district over the incident.

People took out demonstrations in protest against the heinous crime yesterday and demanded severe punishment for the culprits. Meanwhile the Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani has expressed deep shock over alleged sexual assault on 15-year-old girl by the Village Defence Committee members in Kishtiwar, demanding exemplary punishment to the culprits.

“Muslim community in Jammu region in addition to atrocities perpetrated by forces and VDC members faces more enormous and tough situation. It has been proved by the rape incident of a minor girl,” Geelani said in a statement.

He alleged that men in uniform were encouraged as the forces personnel involved in Kunan-Poshpora and Shopian tragedies were not prosecuted for their offences against women. He said forces are enjoying impunity under ‘draconian’ laws like AFSPA and Disturbed Area Act. Referring to the recent desecration of Holy Quran and Gool tragedy and the blame game between Police and BSF personnel, Geelani said, “It is all aimed at creating controversy and distorting evidences.” “The main aim is to provide benefit of doubt to culprits.

How can you expect justice in sexual assault of a minor girl when evidences in Gool like incidents are being concealed and tampered,” Geelani said. Demanding immediate disarmament and dissolution of VDCs, Geelani said, “The aim of these committees is nothing other than to suppress Muslim community in Jammu and put them at the mercy of communal elements.”

Senior pro-freedom leader and chairman Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Shabir Ahmad Shah has expressed deep anguish and resentment over the sexual assault of the minor allegedly by members of Village Defense Committee (VDC) of Hadara Kantwara in Kishtwar district.

Shah, who is under house arrest for the past some days, has expressed solidarity with the family of the victim. “The track record of village defense committees (VDCs) is replete with murders and rapes,” he said, warning the local administration of serious consequences if any attempt was made to shield the culprits. He insisted on the administration not to ignore the genuine demands of people.

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