Nation Current Affairs 16 Apr 2018 Abdullah asks for sp ...

Abdullah asks for special J&K legislature session over Kathua rape and murder issue

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Apr 16, 2018, 2:15 am IST
Updated Apr 16, 2018, 2:15 am IST
The DNA and police investigations have revealed that she was held inside a local temple where she was drugged, raped and killed.
Farooq Abdullah
 Farooq Abdullah

Srinagar: Opposition National Conference (NC) president and three-time chief minister, Farooq Abdullah, on Sunday asked for convening a special session of the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to bring about a new law mandating death penalty for raping a minor.

Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, had earlier during the week said that a new law would be introduced awarding death sentence to those guilty of raping minors in the State. In a tweet on April 12, she said, “We will never ever let another child suffer in this way. We will bring a new law that will make the death penalty mandatory for those who rape minors, so that little Asifa’s case becomes the last.”

 

8-year-old nomad Bakerwal (herdsmen) girl, went missing while grazing horses in Rasana village of Hiranagar tehsil of J&K’s Kathua district on January 17. A week later, her body was found in woods near her village. The DNA and police investigations have revealed that she was held inside a local temple where she was drugged, raped and killed.

Abdullah while speaking to NC workers and officer bearers here expressed anguish, grief and pain at the “heart-rending and gruesome tragedy” in Kathua. He sought “strictest and most exemplary” punishment for the culprits. He said, “We demand a special legislative session so that it could, as announced earlier, propose a bill mandating the death penalty for such heinous crimes against children”. 

 

He asserted said the Kathua incident was not an isolated, spontaneous crime but the “manifestation of a deeply repugnant and repressive politics that hinges on the harassment, intimidation and dis-empowerment of the nomadic Gujjar-Bakerwal communities”. He alleged that Gujjar-Bakerwal communities have been at the receiving end of threats and intimidation ever since the present political dispensation came to power in J&K. He said the ministers in the PDP-BJP government openly threatened them of dire repercussions and one such minister went to the extent of reminding them of the horrors of the 1947 massacre.

 

“The Gujjar-Bakerwal communities have been hounded, targeted and intimidated for nearly three years now while PDP has remained a mute spectator. Had the PDP objected to this harassment and intimidation, perhaps things would not have come to this tragic pass,” he said adding that the Chief Minister’s silence over repeated attempts to harass and threaten the nomadic communities “emboldened these elements and the consequences are here for all of us to see”.

He further alleged that the PDP-BJP alliance has left no stone unturned to divide the people of the State along regional and religious lines to seek their own specific political dividends. “While the BJP continues to pit the people of Jammu against their brothers and sisters in Kashmir as a deeply divisive and dangerous political strategy, the PDP in Kashmir sought votes against the BJP before aligning with it post elections - eroding the sanctity of its mandate and pushing our youth towards turmoil and disenchantment. The ramifications of this opportunism – of this brazen sell out have been disastrous. Today the fault lines between various regions of our State have become deeper than they ever where as shrill, polarizing rhetoric has changed the narrative into an ‘us versus them’ debate in respective regions of the State”.

 

Abdullah said this was a very dangerous trend and the slide which needs to be checked immediately before it was too late and the situation becomes irretrievable.

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