Asifa Bano, an 8 year old little girl, was blissfully residing in Rasana village near Kathua in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, in the protective shield of her family. A little girl, bright and vibrant, a little flower waiting to be bloomed to a young girl. But her destiny had other fiendish draconian plans for her, which wrestled her out of her safe cocoon and she kissed the cold face of death. January 2018, little Asifa was abducted, raped and eventually murdered by some sadistic remorseless homicides or better to say sociopaths who did not spare this little girl her right to thrive and live.

According to the charge sheet filed by J and K police Sanji Ram, a 60 year old retired revenue officer hatched this horrendous plan and executed it with the help of SPO Deepak Khajuria and his juvenile nephew to instill fear in the Bakarwal community to which Asifa belonged. The plan was hatched and meticulously put into action as these criminals dragged Asifa inside a temple, drugged her, raped her and murdered her. I am a Hindu, so can I ask you Dear God or the mighty HOLY TRINITY OR THE GODESS SHAKTI, why were you mute and stood like effigies , lifeless, when this heinous crime took place in your abode of worship? Does humanity mean nothing to YOU and religion difference takes and holds the reigns? Even You are biased? So why blame these politicians who manipulate us using YOUR name to ensure their vote banks?

The charge sheet of 5600 words states that states that on 12 January 2018, Mohammad Yusuf lodged a complaint in Hiranagar police station stating that his daughter had gone missing. His complaint said that his daughter, aged 8, had gone to watch over grazing horses 30 minutes past noon on 10 January 2018. She was seen at 2 PM, but when the horses returned at 4 PM, she was no longer with them. After searching for her and being unable to find her, her father registered a First Information Report (FIR) with the police.

I am not going into the gory details of the forensic reports after little Asifa’s body was discovered but the social status of the accused took away my senses. Sanji Ram was found to be the main accused in the case. He is the priest of the family temple, considered to be pious and Devasthan to us Hindus where the incident took place (alleged). The ‘Devasthan’ is a public worshiping place and the Hindu community of the village prays 3 times a day in that temple according to local people. His son Vishal and his nephew, a juvenile (LATER IT WAS PROVED IN THE COURT OF LAW THAT HE WAS 19 AT THE TIME OF THE CRIME) were also accused in the case. The others who have been accused are Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar, who are police officers; Tilak Raj, a head constable and Arvind Dutta, a sub Inspector. The police contested the claim that the nephew is a juvenile, NO HE WAS NOT. Vishal Jangotra claimed to be in Meerut attending an exam. However, according to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), his signature does not match the signature on the exam attendance sheet.

The trial for the Kathua murder and rape case began in Jammu and Kashmir on 16 April 2018 before the Principal Sessions Court judge, Kathua. The second hearing was scheduled for 28 April 2018.The Supreme Court sought a response from the Jammu and Kashmir government regarding shifting the trial to Chandigarh by 27 April 2018. A demand by Bhim Singh, leader of the Panthers Party, for an independent inquiry by the CBI was heard and denied by the Supreme Court of India

On 7 May 2018, the Supreme Court of India shifted the case from Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot. The Supreme Court instructed the trial to be fast-tracked. The trial was closed to the public and press according to orders from the Supreme Court. The trial also was being held in-camera as per instructions from the Supreme Court. 

Needless to say there was a huge outcry and communal tension and even some of the protestors, HINDU PROTESTORS demanded release of these brutal criminals committing a cut throat crime by declaring that they would burn themselves alive if those devils were not released.

How shamefully bigoted we are, we cannot even rise over religion for the sake of a 8 year old innocent girl, her faith becomes the yardstick of serving justice. And still we are SECULAR? Shamefully hypocrites we are to claim that we are secular, NO WE ARE NOT. We still fight in the name of religion; we victimize young lives to prove supremacy of one religion over the other, forgetting the fact that the only religion which should exist is HUMANITY. 

The trial was being held under the Ranbir Penal Code, according to laws in Jammu and Kashmir. 

On 14 November 2018, the family of the rape victim decided to drop their lawyer Deepika Rajawat. The application to remove the power of attorney was filed before the trial court in Pathankot, where the girl’s father said Rajawat won’t be representing them in the case anymore stating her security concerns and general lack of interest in the case. Over 100 hearings have taken place so far, but Deepika Rajawat was only present twice. On 10 June 2019, six of the seven defendants were found guilty, and one was acquitted. Three were sentenced to life imprisonment and three to five years.But did we learn a lesson? No. The agrestal inclement vile fiendish ogres again made an abominable horrifying emergence surfacing from the netherworld where the evil resides and this time the victim was Twinkle Sharma, a two and a half year old baby girl of Aligarh. Two little children, same torture with the same axe of rape, different states and yes different religion. Now religion is something which we Indians can die for but can’t overlook, we will not spread love but will run to take part in a communal hate riot, which is where we stand. And these two hapless souls are the result of that hatred we nurture against each other based on caste and creed.  

An archer by heart and a writer by passion. Have had a decade long career in Human Resources with reputed organizations like Simplex Infrastructures Ltd, GPT Infrastructures Ltd and Emami Realty Ltd, but the role I enjoy the most is that of a mother to my 9 year old daughter.Reading enriches me, travelling rejuvenates me.
Educational Qualufication -MBA (HR) and M.COM (Banking and Insurance). You can ask any question to the author on this mail: [email protected]

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