Opening trial of the sensational but controversial Rassana rape and murder case has unnerved the Crime Branch of Jammu Kashmir Police and biased Indian media. The ‘not-guilty statement’ of all the accused with offer of their Narco test raises questions whether the innocent girl will ever get justice in her grave. This may perhaps be the first such instance where the accused volunteered to the test, which, if granted, will have significant bearing on the case.
The protagonists of ‘Justice for the victim’ might have succeeded in giving communal colour to the unfortunate incident by dragging ‘temple’ angle, maligning Hindus of the entire Jammu region in general and Kathua district in particular and tarnishing the image of most thronged pilgrim destination of north India in the country and abroad but haven’t they distanced justice from the poor Gujjar girl.
In the backdrop of politicisation and communalisation of the gory incident, apprehensions are gaining ground that the real culprit(s) might get noose around their neck(s) loosened. Who will be responsible for such an injustice with the innocent angel—politicians, separatists, Crime Branch sleuths or motivated anchors of highly biased television channels?
So far as the arrest of eight accused in the case is concerned, the PDP led BJP partnered dispensations has reason to feel relieved for saving their alliance at nominal cost of sacrificing ministers, Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga. The scenario is equally good for Syed Ali Shah Geelani led separatists, who opposed CBI probe and discovered their love lost for Jammu and Kashmir Police and its Crime Branch. It is also win-win situation for the so-called Kashmir mainstream, a section of which had nullified the SIT investigations into Shopian case and sought CBI probe. It is good for those also who wanted India to sweat by getting the issue globalised. That happened! United Nations took cognisance.
Now, the Rassana village in Kathua district is new and premier destination for a section of jingoistic media, motivated activists, pseudo seculars and even the nationalistic BJP that has issued a ‘satisfactory’ certificate to the Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police for cracking the case in jet-speed. Ironically, the same police failed in tracing the girl alive for seven days of her disappearance but took just 15 days in cross-examining the entire population to ‘dig out the truth’, which they say is substantiated by 130 persons, who would be the prosecution witnesses.
What an irony! After the accomplishment of ‘Mission Malign Jammu’, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s claim of getting the case fast-tracked to deliver exemplary punishment to guilty, fell flat on the first day of the trial when the prosecution failed to provide about 480 page charge-sheet to the accused. Can the government, which showed nonchalant attitude in making available the copies of charge-sheet, be serious in having the culprits of heinous crime punished, least to say ‘hanged’?
The incident of rape, which remained dormant and confined to parts of Kathua district for most of the past three months blasted abruptly pre-and-post arrests of the accused. In between, a very serious development took place, which fell silent in the din of cries against ‘Hindu rapists’ and it related with encroachment of state and forest lands, allegedly by Gujjars. This development was the one of the fundamental issues raised by Jammu Bar Association that related to withdrawal of the controversial 14th February minutes of Tribal Affairs Department meeting, chaired by Chief Minister, placing several restrictions in carrying out anti-encroachment drive against Gujjars and Bakerwals. Handing over of the Kathua rape case to the CBI was the tail-end demand of lawyers. The anti-Hindu and anti-Jammu tirade gained momentum only after the successful Bandh of the BAJ.
Being sub-judice, there is little scope to comment on the charge-sheet presented by the Crime Branch in the designated court of law but if it fails judicial scrutiny during the long-drawn or fast-track process, who will be held responsible—the jingoistic and biased media, which fulfilled its agenda of communalising the issue and maligning Hindus, the politicians who succeeded in tarnishing the image of Duggarland, the separatists, who achieved their mission of engineering demographic change in the Hindu dominated region. They seem to be little interested in delivering justice to the little girl and more involved in breaking and shaking Jammu’s demographic character and economic structure. In this ‘mission’ of anti-Jammu forces, the active collusion of the local BJP leadership will always haunt the patriotic Jammuites, who have always lived to the expectations of the nation.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper