Justice for Kathua Victim


(This heinous crime has shaken the conscience of the entire world. The most important part now is that justice must not only be done but must appear to have been done!)

The savagery and brutalization done with an innocent eight year old girl in a place of worship is an unparalleled crime which goes beyond condemnation. One shudders to think about what must have gone through the mind of that lovely little girl before she was bludgeoned to death by these beastly rogues, some of them in uniform. Even animals and beasts are not so savage and brutal! One can judge the extent of savagery by the description given by the head of the Police Department, DG, Dr. Vaid on a national TV channel when he too had tears in his eyes!But the most condemnable part is the support given to the criminals by some politicians and the lawyers. As has been pointed out, the crime has been pre-meditated and well planned with the object of driving out the owners of a certain portion of land. This part ads the angle of communalization with criminal piracy to it. Incidentally, most of the investigators and the lawyer pursuing the case do not belong to the religion and community of the victim! It is a commendable job done by them worthy of utmost appreciation by one and all.

There must not be any person or an institution which must not have condemned the savagery committed on this little innocent girl. Even, the Secretary General of the United Nations has stated that the victim must get justice. For the first time the entire media, prominent personalities within the country and abroad have not only condemned the act but called for speedy justice. In spite of this, there have been some exceptions who for the reasons best known to them have kept quiet! In this regard, one would like to point out the prominent leaders of the community to which the girl belonged. For reasons best known to them they have not been as forthcoming for demanding justice as others unrelated to the community. Secondly, some of the top female political leaders, actresses and others too have kept quiet. They are all liable to be considered as “partners in the crime”!

Now, the question is will justice be done? The communalization of the entire episode with even Ministers siding with the rapists and above all else some of the lawyers normally supposed to ensure delivery of justice siding with the perpetrators of this heinous crime creates many doubts. Trial is reportedly already started. It would have been betterif it had been held somewhere outside the place of occurrence in view of the communalization of the whole episode and involvement of some politicians and lawyers in defending the perpetrators for communal and political reasons. Hopefully the trial will go on a fast track as reportedly requested by the Chief Minister to the State High Court?

It is probably for the first time that head of the UN has observed that the victim should get justice. Well, merely saying that would not ensure justice. Being head of a global organization considered also a watch dog of Human Rights throughout the world, he could even send his representative to attend the proceedings of the trial. This is more so because of the already explosive situation in a territory whose future in recorded UN proceedings is still undecided!

Regarding the communal angle, it is a deliberate attempt to stir the communal cauldron with ulterior motives. The party leading that is already having the history of having committed a communal carnage in the same area at the time of partition. The attempted communalization may result in nemesis for the communalists not only in Jammu but the entire country! Fortunately, the general masses and all other sections of the society have refused to buy the communal angle. There has been massive outpouring of sympathy for the victim and universal demand for justice to be done in the case. There is also a demand for giving capital punishment. Incidentally, the crime may automatically attract capital punishment. It involves criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, rape and then murder. The entire world would be keenly following the trial.

Seeing the savagery and the gruesome details of the crime gathered by the Crime Branch of the J & K Police with most of the team comprising of the people from the other community than that of the victim, one feels confident that justice will not only be done but it will truly appear to have been done. The savagery so much disturbs a person that one wishes the perpetrators could be dealt with in the Saudi style in public!

Incidentally, in the cacophony of umpteen opinions expressed by one and all, there appeared to be a saner voice. That was of the State Tourism Minister, Tassaduq Mufti. Speaking to Muzamil Jaleel of Indian Express, he said, “BJP and PDP have ended up as partners in crime for which Kashmiris may have to pay with their blood!” “The brutal murder-rape of a tribal child and the subsequent communal politics over it has pushed the state to a new low and brought shame to all of us…If coalition politics is about living with a series of failures and ignominies, then I am sorry I don’t know how to hide my awkwardness and discomfort with it,” he said.“I am not going to be quiet and act as if I am unmoved by the tragedy that is unfolding at ground level, just because I am part of the government. All lives matter”. Let us hope he does not remain quiet and at least ensures the poor girl savaged by the brutes gets justice!

Mohammad Ashraf, I.A.S. (Retired), Former Director General Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir


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