Bandipora Minor’s rape: Kashmir on edge; protestor critical | KNO

Valley registers scores of protests, rallies, against brutal rape, massive clashes on Sgr-Bla highway, 12 youth, over 47 cops injured, SSB officer, dozens of civilians injured
Bandipora Minor’s rape:  Kashmir on edge; protestor critical | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, May 13 (KNO) : A youth was critically injured in clashes at Mirgund area on Srinagar-Baramulla highway even as rallies, protests rocked Kashmir elsewhere in the Valley, witnesses told KNO. Dozens of protests were registered in Press Enclave Srinagar with protestors demanding stern punishment to the guilty behind the rape. Massive protests rocked Baramulla and Kupwara district with school students, college goers, traders, civil society activists, politicians and clerics including Imams and Khateebs in unison demanded stern and exemplary punishment to the culprit behind act of raping a minor who continues to battle for her life in a hospital. A youth sustained critical wound at Mirgund on Srinagar-Baramulla highway while as police said that more than 40 of its men also sustained injuries even as it resorted to minimum use of force, a top official told KNO. Reports said hundreds of youth including women hits on National Highway at Mirgund blocked the road staged massive protest which halted traffic movement for several hours. Government forces spotted and fired tear gas Smoke shells to disperse the protestors which triggered in violent clashes in Mirgund area of Pattan. Students of Govt Degree College, Boys Higher Secondary School also took out peaceful rally at Iqbal market later on which triggered in clashes. Protesters while marching towards Bus stand to Main Chowk were demanding strict action against the culprit. A girl fell unconscious when forces fired tear gas smoke shells to quell the Protestors. Eyewitnesses said minor clashes erupted in Sultanpora Pattan of North Kashmir Baramulla district after peaceful protests were going on over the rape of three year old girl. Police said that 47 of its men sustained injuries while as a SSB officer of 2nd battalion sustained wound on his head. It said only seven youth were injured as they exercised maximum restraint. The students of Share e Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) at Wadoora Sopore in north Kashmir’s peaceful protest inside the campus against the rape of a three-year-old girl in Sumbal area of Bandipora district in north Kashmir. Protest marches were held across north Kashmir’s Kupwara district including students of boys and Women’s colleges form Handwara and Kupwara township demanding capital punishment for involved accused. Witnesses KNO that, the students of boys degree college Kupwara including girls and boys held a protest demonstration from college campuses towards main town Kupwara in the meanwhile security forces intercepted the protesters and tried to pacify them. However, the protesting students started to pelt stones upon the forces leading to clashes between students and forces, forces there used tear smoke shells to disappear them. The students of model women’s college also held a protest demonstration from their college through main town Kupwara up to DDC and SSP complex, who were later sprayed by forces to disappear from the spot. Youth from different parts of Kupwara held a peaceful protest on early Monday morning held a protest demonstration from Lolab Stand through Jamia market asking traders to shutdown the business units, raising slogans in favour of Sumbal minor girl, they demanded stern punishment against the culprit. Reports reaching KNO from Handwara said that, the students of government degree college Handwara also took out a protest march starting from college gate up to Main Chowk Handwara raising slogans against the accused and demanding capital punishment for the accused for raping a minor girl in Sumbal, Bandipora. However there were no reports of clashes from Handwara, protests were held across which ended peacefully. A female student of women’s college Kupwara while talking to KNO said that, Many rape incidents have surfaced in past but to date no one has been sentenced for their guilt. She said told KNO that, “we only held peaceful protest but police didn't allow u to March freely and fired tear smoke shells and spray over us despite knowing that we're on fasts, we are only demanding justice for the Minor rape victim form Sumbal she is among us she's our sister.” Another girl student from Boys degree college holding a placard which reads as, "Girls are not toys, punish the culprit", told KNO that We are only protesting in favour of minor girl who has been brutally raped in Sumbal, culprit should be dealt with law strictly so that no such incident surfaces in near future.” Another student from Handwara College one among the protesters said that, authorities should speed up the investigation into the incident and give accused an exemplary punishment so that people should know the consequences before indulging into any such incident. The students across district Kupwara have demanded stern action to be taken against the accused involved in the rape of three year old girl from Sumbal, Bandipora.(KNO) appealed to all to maintain sectarian harmony and urged common masses to show a united face in this hour of crisis. Expressing solidarity with the family of the victim Hurriyat said that all of Kashmir stands in unison in demanding sternest possible punishment to the culprit. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai expressed his deep shock and anger over the horrific and shameful act of minor’s alleged rape. He as per a statement issued to KNO described the shameful act not only shocking but a collective societal shame. “This gruesome incident is a slap on our social fabric of Kashmir and a time of introspection where we are heading be it on religious, social or moral obligations,” he said. He demanded severe and harshest punishment to the guilty and a fast track probe to the incident involved in this barbaric and heinous crime. He also offered deepest and heartbroken pain and sympathy with the affected family and prayed for their courage to bear this deep trauma. Moreover, J&K High Court Bar Association Srinagar, strongly condemned the kidnapping and rape of a minor girl, expressing its solidarity with the victim and her family. The Bar Association as per a statement issued to KNO demanded that the matter should be got investigated through a Special Investigating Team, which should be headed by an officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police and the challan of the case be put up before a Fast Track Court immediately and the proceedings thereof be conducted on day to day basis so that exemplary punishment is awarded to the accused. In an emergency general body meeting held here today in the High Court Complex, the members also condemned the unnecessary and irrational use of force against the civilian population at Magam, who were protesting against the aforesaid gruesome act in which scores of people got injured due to pellets and teargas shells. Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief spokesman, Muhammad Rafiq Dar stated that the rape incident of a minor girl is not only highly condemnable but intolerable and unforgivable as well. “The human beast who is involved in this inhuman and gruesome act deserves an immediate, severe and exemplary punishment after it is proved following the thorough investigations,” he added. According to a statement issued to KNO, he said that a couple incidents of this nature that took place here has stained the otherwise saintly valley of Kashmir that has given a bad name to our society and is proving fatal to our sacred cause of freedom movement.(KNO)