The brutal rape of the three-year-old girl in Bandipore, Kashmir has now taken a political and sectarian turn. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has suggested the implementation of Sharia where child rapists are stoned to death. Mutahida Majlis Ulema (MMU), an amalgamation of various religious bodies while condemning the rape said that such incidents “are taking place because of the fact that many people in Kashmir, have forgotten the path and teachings shown by the great Sufi saints who put their blood and sweat to spread Islam in its true form.”
As reported by Kashmir Observer, the MMU termed the rape unfortunate and shocking and added how this incident shows in which direction Kashmir, which was once a religious society, is heading.
Meanwhile, separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani while expressing ‘deep grief’ has invoked the Kashmir dispute to condemn the incident. He said, “Bribery and a poor sense of responsibility both in judiciary and police administration has left the galloping crime rate un-tethered, because of the disputed nature of our state.”
According to The Asian Age, the brutal rape also set off sectarian tensions in the valley after it was reported that the victim and the perpetrator belonged to two different sects of Islam.
As per reports, the three-year-old girl had accompanied her uncle to the mosque for the namaaz marking the start of Iftar in the ongoing Ramzan. After the prayer, the girl left the mosque and when she neared her house, her neighbour, Tahir Ahmad Mir, lured her to a nearby government school. About 15 minutes later when he passed by again, the shopkeeper who had earlier sold the chewing gums the accused had bought to lure the girl, did not see the girl accompany him.
When the girl did not show up after a long time, the parents got worried and started looking for her. When the mother was frantically looking for the child, a lady told her that she heard cries from a toilet of the government school. When the mother reached the school, she saw her daughter sitting with her pants down in the toilet and crying. She was bleeding. When she was narrating the incident, the parents realised their three-year-old was raped.
When the parents went looking for the perpetrator, the girl identified the abuser near the same shop from where he had previously bought the chewing gums. The father of the child caught the man and handed him over to police.
People across Srinagar protested against the brutal rape. Anger grew when the local school “Islamic Educational Trust” in Tirgam in Sumbal area issued a certificate declaring the accused to be a minor. Protestors accused the school management of trying to protect the rapist.
As per media reports, Tahir may have even abused many other local girls. He is booked under section 363 (kidnapping), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 376 (rape) of the Ranbir Penal Code. A special investigative team has been set up to look into the crime.