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Protests rock Kashmir against rape of 3-year-old in Bandipora

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Governor expresses shock and pain; strike disrupts normal life

Students of Govt College for Women, Anantnag, hit streets on Monday to register their protest against rape of a minor in Bandipora district. Photo/Muneeb Ul Islam

Srinagar, May 13: Protests were held across the Kashmir Valley on Monday against the alleged rape of a three-year-old girl in Sumbal area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district last week.

At several places, the police used tear-gas to disperse the protesters who had blocked the traffic movement to demand speedy trial of the case.

On the evening of May 08, a 3-year-old girl was allegedly raped by his neighbour after luring her to a nearby school. “The accused had raped her in the washroom of the school located at a walking distance from their respective houses,” locals said.

Angered by the horrific incident, the protesters assembled on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway at Hygam and blocked the traffic movement for several hours.

The protesters while demanding stern action against the accused, also sought immediate action against the school principal who had allegedly issued a certificate declaring the accused as a minor.

Police have detained the school principal for questioning.

The students of Degree College Sopore and Boys Higher Secondary School held a peaceful protest at Iqbal market area of the Sopore town amid a shutdown.

Scores of girl students took to streets in Sopore town and staged a protest against the gruesome rape incident.

Protests also erupted in many parts of Srinagar city, including Saida Kadal, Gaw Kadal, Almagari Bazar and Shalimar areas.

Schools and other business establishments remained closed in the city while the movement of public transport remained affected today owing to the protest shutdown against the incident.

The students of Kashmir University and Islamic University Awantipora also held protest rallies against the horrific incident.

Meanwhile, normal life was affected in Kashmir on Monday due to a strike called by a religious-cum-separatist organisation against the alleged rape of a three-year-old girl in Bandipora district of north Kashmir.

Most schools, shops and other business establishments in the city and major towns remained shut due to the strike, while public transport was also affected though partially by the strike.

However, government offices and banks remained open.

'Itehadul Muslimeen' – a religious organisation which is also a constituent of Hurriyat-M - Sunday called for a complete shutdown across the Kashmir Valley on Monday against the alleged rape of the girl at Sumbal in north Kashmir's Bandipora district.

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.

Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed shock and pain over the extremely heinous incident of rape of a 3-year-old girl from Bandipora district.

“On learning about the unfortunate incident, Governor immediately spoke to S.P. Pani, IGP Kashmir, and took detailed review of the ongoing investigations into the case. He directed the IGP to work swiftly in the case and ensure that the culprit gets exemplary punishment for this shameful act,” a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.

He said that Governor also talked with religious leaders of different communities and asked them to deplore this gruesome incident unanimously and make appeal to the people to remain calm and not let antisocial elements disturb peace and harmony in the society.

Governor also urged the parents, teachers and prominent citizens to take significant steps in imbibing children with morally sound and value-based education so as to build a strong foundation for a society based on compassion and kindness, the spokesperson said.

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