Politically Motivated and Wittedly Planned Rape
It has been three months when Aasifa, an eight year old child from Kathua district of Jammu division was abducted, drugged, gang- raped and then finally killed mercilessly. But only now we witness huge hue and cry on social and mainstream media, both national and international, and people from all across lending their voices in solidarity with victim and calling out for exemplary punishment to those involved in this gruesome crime. This all happened when police in the chargesheet documented the horrible details of how this heinous act was carried and then group of lawyers in Kathua tried to stop police from filing chargesheet. Earlier two BJP minsters had participated in the rally taken by some Hindu Ekta Manch in support of those named in chargesheet. Two cabinet ministers belonging to BJP had also participated in the valley. Few days ago both of them filed their resignation which is yet to be accepted.
As a Muslim, I feel frustrated after I see some Hindu fanatics & nationalists taking rallies in support of these rapists, waving tricolour, interrupting investigations, destroying evidences related to this heinous crime and then Jammu High Court Bar Association calling “Bandh” of the city demanding the case to be handed over to the CBI.
As a Kashmiri, it is astounding to see people equating Aasifa Rape and Murder Case with Unnao Case when they express their outrage and calling Aasifa as India’s daughter.There is no comparison between Aasifa’s case and Unnao case, while the Unnao case is rape as a crime driven by lust and toxic masculinity, Kathua case is politically motivated and wittedly planned to create a state of fear among the Muslim Gujjar Community of Kathua and drive them out of the Hindu majority Jammu province to alter its demography. When Indian civil society and media calls Aasifa India’s daughter, I want to ask them if they own Asiya and Nelofar or Kunan Poshpora mass rape victims or did they raise any voice seeking justice for them.
In Kashmir, rape has been used as a weapon of war, a part of strategy of occupying forces to intimidate and humiliate the local population and demoralise their resistance against occupation.There are so many instances of even Kashmiri men been raped in torture centres, many cases have been reported while most of them went unreported. So far, it has never happened in Kashmir in these politically motivated crimes against the population of Kashmir that justice was delivered. So Kashmiris do not pin much hopes with this system that has denied them justice from last 70 years. There had been other number of rape incidents in Kashmir at the hands of Security forces which went uninvestigated or unprosecuted. Human Rights Watch says Indian Security forces reportedly gang-raped more than 900 women in Kashmir during 1992 alone.
Gujjar and Bakerwal Community of J&K is more susceptible and prone to the rape atrocities. Journalist Freny Manecksha about women of Gujjar & Bakerwal says, “Their remote location has made them even more vulnerable to sexual violence.” The rape victims being the residents of this hapless occupied land where resistance sentiment runs high, these cases attain least condemnation and cries for justice from Indian mainland populace as questioning the Armed forces is treated as an anti-national act that might bring down the high morale of its security forces. Aasifa’s case should not be seen in isolation to it as it is also aimed at hinging the occupation further and stronger. It is also a part of larger political strategy to traverse and negate the political aspirations of people of Jammu & Kashmir i.e. Right to Self-determination. The rapes, killings, enforced disappearances, brutal torture, night raids, unlawful detentions, use of civilians as Human Shield, destruction of properties etc. are all done to break the high resolve for resistance in local population and AFSPA provides impunity to all these. Those who are standing in solidarity with the Aasifa and despising the accused rapists should not mistakenly perceive this case like a normal rape case. This is not a normal rape case, this is another “State Sponsored Terrorist act ” by India against Kashmiri Population and a weapon of war they have declared against them.
Author is Class 12th student at Secondary School, Aligarh Muslim University, India.
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