Omkar Dattatray Kashmir is this time in news not for anything good but for the disgraceful and shameful act of rape committed on a young girl of three years old in Sumbal area of North Kashmir. The very idea of this heinous crime brings shivers down one’s spine. The vale of Kashmir which is the land of Saints, seers and faquirs and where such crimes were alien is now witnessing increase in the graph of such heinous and shameful crimes committed by human brutes. Rape is a heinous crime and it become doubly heinous and shameful as this barbaric act was committed on a merely three year old baby just before the Iftiar (evening meals) in the month of holy Ramzan and one’s head hangs in shame on the hearing of this gruesome act and that too on the Ramzan eve. The shameful act attracted right condemnation and grief from all cutting across societal and political affiliations but the way Hartali Hurriyat did not issue a call for Hartal on this gruesome act exposes the double speak of Hurriyat Conference. However, later on both factions and leaders of Hurriyat Conference condemned the heinous crime and called it an assault on the cultural fabric of the state. But they did it after sensing public resentment about Hurriyat. The shameful act has rightly been condemned by all right thinking people and it triggered protests in Kashmir. Protests broke out at few places in Kashmir and the protesters demanded exemplary punishment to the accused so that it will work as a deterrent in future. Governor Satya Pal Malik has condemned the inhuman act of Rape on a three year old baby and has assured the people of stringent punishment to the person accused of the crime. He has also appealed to people to maintain mutual brotherhood and calm and promised that the victim will be given justice through speedy trial of the case. Governor has spoken to divisional commissioner of Kashmir, DGP and IGP Kashmir S.P Pani and directed them to investigate the crime in a speedy manner and to ensure speedy justice to the victim. He also asked them to personally monitor the investigations into the case so that public confidence is restored in the system. The Governor asked for swift action in the shameful act. Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has also appealed to the people to maintain peace, brotherhood and assured them that investigation will be conducted on fast track basis. Here at Budgam, the DC Budgam Dr. Syed Sehrish Asgar and SSP Budgam Amod Ashok Nagpuri held a meeting with the representatives of Shia-Sunni coordination committee Budgam in the wake of spontaneous protests throughout Budgam following Bandipura Incident. The main stream political parties of J&K and the Separatist groups as well have condemned the crime and called for a severe punishment to the culprit. Omar Abdullah of NC and Mehbooba Mufti of PDP had condemned the incident and demanded severe punishment to the guilty. Meanwhile an SIT has been constituted by the J&K Police to probe the matter and give stringent punishment to the guilty. There are apprehensions that the efforts are under way to project the accused as minor and in this regard a school certificate is being manipulated to show the guilty as minor so that he is saved of the severe punishment. But the only silver lining is that the governor has also ordered an investigation on the date of birth of the accused so that true justice is given to the victim. Condemnation and the demand for a severe punishment is all good but then there is need for self introspection and soul searching to know the reason for the rise in such crimes in Kashmir which otherwise had the distinction of having zero crime rate in such matters. Therefore, the need of the hour is to give moral, human and character education through state run and private educational institutions so that man making and character making education is given top priority. Only through moral and character education such heinous crimes can be curbed. There is need of severe punishment to the guilty and at the same time it is better if the sin is nipped in the bud by giving moral, human and character education in schools. Therefore, there is urgent need to give moral, character and human education to the young boys and girls so that such shameful and heinous crimes will not occur in future in vale of Kashmir which is the land of Rishis and Seers. Sumbal tragedy is not the only incident of this kind but earlier there was the incident of rape of a daughter by her father which has shook the conscience of Kashmiris. There were reports of a step brother having committed rape on his sister and all these incidents have brought shame and disgrace to us as a community and these crimes are against the theme of Kashmiriyat and its rich cultural heritage. As if the present Bandipore crime was not enough a brute in the form of a human being has committed the disgraceful act of rape on a teen aged girl in Ganderbal area and the accused has been arrested by the police. Therefore, there is need to attack this heinous crime through two pronged strategy. Firstly moral, character and man making education should be imparted to young and impressionable minds so that such incidents do not occur and secondly whenever and wherever such incidents take place severe punishment should be given so that the confidence of the people is maintained in the system and the guilty is punished and justice is done to the victim. It is good that the police have arrested the accused who has been identified as 20 year old Tahir Ahmed Mir a car mechanic. People including girls and elderly poured out into the streets demand strict action against the culprit and a speedy trial. The religious organization Itehadul Muslimeen called for a valley wide shut down against the alleged rape of the minor girl. Students of Kashmir University and Islamic university of Science and Technology staged peaceful demonstration and demanded stern action against the accused. Shah Fazil of People’s Movement has said these child rapists are out there because we have failed in our response towards the crime as a society. In 2018 Kathua rape and murder of an 8 year old nomadic girl shamed the humanity. The victim Asifa was not given justice till date and the effect is that we are witnessing more such cases. It is very unfortunate that 595 rape cases in two years in J&K were reported in Indian express in February, 2017. Mehbooba Mufti is mortified to hear the rape of a three year old girl and expressed shock over the incident and she favors the Sharia punishment which is not possible in a democratic country which is ruled by constitutional law. In nutshell there is need to nip the evil in the bud and fight this crime to finish by recourse to moral education and also by giving stern punishment to the guilty. It is more unfortunate that this shameful act is being given secretarian angle by the anti social elements but all efforts should be made that they do not succeed in their nefarious designs of dividing society and peace and mutual brotherhood is maintained at all costs. The Bandipora and subsequent Gandharbal rape case are effect of muted response to the Kathua Rape case by the concerned society. The brute is within us and the enemy is also within us, we must restrain ourselves so that such shameful acts do not take place again.
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