Shopian Double Murder Rape Case and State Rhetoric: Retrospection
The two young women on the 29th day of May 2009 went to their apple orchard at Bongam, Shopian and did not come back to home. Next morning at the crack of dawn, the two dead bodies of Asiya and Nelofar were mysteriously found in Rambiaara. As soon as the news spread about the incident, the whole Kashmir Valley was up in arms and demonstrations erupted at every nook and corner. The masses out rightly protested against the double rape and murder case and demanded justice for the twin victims.
It goes without saying that the word Justice in Kashmir has been often mocked, molested and murdered. It is even not justice to use the word Justice in a virtual sense. From the day one it (Justice) has been misused, interpolated and fabricated through the so-called Investigations. To wait for justice in Kashmir is to wait for Godot to come. Waiting for Godot is a play by Samuel Beckets, in which two characters, wait for the arrival of someone named Godot who never arrives. Those who have been had here go from pillar to post and hope that justice will be given to them and their culprits will face the music. But, it hardly gets materialized.
India on papers is believed to be the largest secular democratic country in the world. Although it is illegally occupying the land of Kashmir since October 1947 and its state terrorism is at the apex. India’s ‘brave’ soldiers are involved in heinous crimes and human rights violations, yet it disgracefully talks huge about morals and continues to mislead the whole world with its Machiavellian democratic spells. Indian democracy changes its attire and colour after crossing over the banihal tunnel. Those who beat the drums of democracy are the actual murders of democracy. To the best of our belief, they (the so called custodians of democracy) epitomise the fascistic ideology and irony of the fact is that they still consider themselves the well-wishers of democracy.
Eight years have gone and the justice is yet to be done to Asiya and Nelofar. It will always remain a dark bolt on the face of democratic India. Although, it is not only Asiya and Nelofar but thousands other women like the victims of Kunan-Poshpora, half widows, victims like Tabinda Gani etc. We are in a fix when we chew the cud that justice has remained confined only to discussions, seminars, debates and symposiums. What happened to the Judicial proof by Justice Muzafer Jan? Where are the culprits? Where is the justice? We people of Kashmir feel the pulse of investigation and we are wary how in Kashmir facts are being cooked and videos are being doctored? The year 2012 witnessed the whole India standing by Nirbhaya or Damini (Delhi bus gang rape 2012). We saw how the so-called “Collective Conscience” protested and demanded that the culprits of this fiendish crime should be given punishments. But when it comes to Kashmir, our daughter is being raped and murdered and the whole Indians become dumb, numb and makes pin drop silence. The so-called “Collective Conscience” becomes “Collective Deadness”. The way Indian judiciary System behaves in Kashmir is also questionable and the need of the hour is that it should shun the approach of selective justice? It should give up the double standards and camouflage nature.
Recently, the Supreme Court gave the death sentence to four convicts of Nirbhaya case. Good, we are not against it. But, what can be understood from the fact that the victims of Kunun-Poshpora and Asiya and Nelofar are hopelessly waiting for justice and the perpetrators are still at large roaming in free airs. Perchance they hail from the highest militarised zone in the world known as Kashmir. That is why such cases have been buried deep in the Indian ‘democratic graveyard’ and the culprits are moving freely without any fear. Keeping with the law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, “the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Nirbhaya gang rape case is a victory for the rule of law”. We question and want to ask the law minister why in Kashmir your so called law changes from black into white. Mockery has become your rule of law. Also, it has gone blind due to non-lethal pellets, so, how can we trust, it can judge right and wrong. Not only Ravi Shankar, the controversial BJP leader Subramanian Swami also gave his comments on the verdict of Supreme Court. According to him,” it was very tragic incident, which has blotted the civilisation of India. In my opinion, there is no doubt whatsoever, that all of them were guilty and I think nothing other than capital punishment should be given by the SC,” De facto, it was such an inhumane act which put a nasty blot on the face of humanity. Indeed capital punishment would have been given to the culprits. Mr. Swami felt the pain of Nirbhaya but why he turned a blind eye and never uttered a word that no death sentence was given to the convicts of Gujarat riots victim Bilkis Bano, who was a six month pregnant. She was gang raped during that communal violence. May be she was a Muslim. Mr. Swami never talked about Kunan Poshpora, where his “Sainas” are deeply involved in rape crimes. Why this double standard, biased approach and naked hypocrisy?
India has used the rape or other forms of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Indian army has used the rape as a means of “Psychological Warfare” to humiliate and muzzle the genuine voice of people. According to UNICEF, “systematic rape is often used as a weapon of war in ethnic cleansing”. Also, Amnesty International argues that in “modern conflicts rape is used deliberately as a military strategy”. It further states, that ” it is used for the purpose of conquering territory by expelling the population there from, decimating the remaining civilians by destroying their links of affiliations, by the spread of AIDS, and by eliminating cultural and religious traditions” (Wikipedia). These arguments indicate how occupier tries to subdue occupied with different methods and rape is one of them.
To sum up, we are duty bound to raise our concern about these issues. We should not forget our daughters whose modesty has been snatched by oppressors for the sacred cause. This day takes us back to 2009 Shopian rape and murder case. Also, it reminds us how during that incident the current CM of Jammu and Kashmir Mrs Mehbooba Mufti was leading the people and backed up the protests. Her speeches loaded with emotional tactics galvanised the whole masses and helped her in gaining ground. She was going great guns and demanded the justice for victims. Now, after coming into power, she lost her identity and has suffered dementia and didn’t even utter a word for Asiya and Nelofar. It is because she is gravely infected by the RSS mantra. She has still time to collect her lost conscience and reopen that case so that whole world will know the truth.
Author is pursuing Masters in English Literature at Kashmir University and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position and policy of Oracle Opinions.