Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday, 13 May, expressed deep shock and pain over the alleged rape of a three-year-old girl in Bandipora district. Former J&K chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah condemned the incident, calling for speedy and strict action against the perpetrator.
Bandipora district in northern Kashmir is in shock over a three-year-old girl’s rape, allegedly by a neighbour. The gruesome incident occurred at the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan.
Malik directed the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Kashmir to work swiftly in the case and ensure that the culprit gets exemplary punishment for this shameful act, an official spokesperson said.
"On learning about the unfortunate incident, the Governor immediately spoke to S P Pani, IGP Kashmir, and took detailed review of the ongoing investigations into the case," he said.
In addition to directing the Special Investigation Team to complete the investigation on a fast track basis, Malik has also ordered a separate inquiry to check the veracity of the age of the accused as well as the age certificate issued.
Mehbooba Calls for Sharia Law, Omar Calls Incident ‘Travesty’
Earlier on Saturday, 11 May, former PDP leader and former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called for Sharia law, adding that it will be “apt so that such pedophiles are stoned to death.”
National Conference leader and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah called the incident a “travesty” and called for identification of the guilty and ensure “exemplary punishment.”
‘Horrific’, Says Pakistan
Pakistan on Monday condemned the alleged rape, terming it as a "horrific" incident.
Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal also condemned the use of pellet guns on protesters in the Valley.
Valley Shuts Down Over Protests
The Governor has also talked to religious leaders of different communities and asked them to deplore this gruesome incident unanimously. He also made appeal to the people to remain calm and not let anti-social elements disturb peace and harmony in society, a spokesperson said.
Normal life was affected in the city due to a strike called by a religious-cum-separatist organisation against the incident.
'Itehadul Muslimeen' – a religious organisation which is also a constituent of moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference – Sunday, 11 May, called for a complete shutdown across the Kashmir Valley on Monday against the rape.
In a statement, 'Itehadul Muslimeen' president Moulana Masroor Abbas Ansari termed the rape as a blot on the face of humanity.
“The presence of people with such ill intentions is proving a rot for the society known for upholding its moral values for centuries. There is a dire need for evolving a joint strategy to deal with these elements,” he said.
Ansari demand stern punishment to the culprit.
“There should be no leniency adopted while dealing with the person involved in this act. On the one hand, the victim is battling for her life but on the other hand, efforts are being made to save the culprit which is a serious concern,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)