Sumbal Minor’s Girl Rape: Massive clashes, protests rock Kashmir   Several Persons Injured In Clashes, Pattan Youth Critical; Police Says 47 Forces Personnel Injured   

Asif Iqbal / Suhail Khan

Srinagar, May 13 : The rape of a 3-year-old girl in Sumbal Bandipora has sparked outrage and anger across Kashmir Valley.

On Monday, violent protests broke out for the second consecutive day in parts of Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara, Srinagar, Ganderbal and Anantnag.

On May 8, a youth allegedly lured the child with a candy and raped her in Sumbal area’s Trehgam locality. The police swiftly acted and arrested the youth and also constituted a special investigation team to investigate into the gruesome rape.

Central Kashmir

Scores of people staged protests at Srinagar’s Press Enclave and elsewhere in this summer capital of the state, demanding stringent punishment to the culprit.

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Reports said Members of Jammu and Kashmir Itehaadul Muslimeen headed by Moulana Masroor Abbas Ansari assembled at press enclave and staged protest against the incident.

The protesters, holding placards and chanting slogans, were seeking justice for the minor.

Ansari said that the government always comes up with assurances but later fail to ensure justice to the victim. “The culprits in the heinous crime should be dealt with strictly so that it serves as a deterrent to others,” he told reporters.

Also students from different colleges also staged a protest, demanding capital punishment to the culprit.

Holding placards reading ‘hang the rapists’ and raising slogans in favour of justice to the minor girl, the protesters said that such heinous acts create fear among the girls. “We demand death to the guilty so that no one could dare to indulge in such kind of crimes in future,” the students said.

The members of JK Youth Alliances (JKYA) also marched towards Raj Bhawan here, demanding time-bound investigation and exemplary punishment to the rapist.

The residents of Mandir Bagh here also staged a protest against the incident. They also marched from Mandir Bagh to Press enclave here, carrying black flags to express sympathy with the victim and his family.

The protesters mostly women were raising slogans in favour of justice to the girl and demanded stringent action against the guilty.

Students of Kashmir University also staged a protest demonstration, demanding death to the culprit so that a message was sent that society cannot accept such brutality.

Most parts of Srinagar including Old City observed a complete shutdown against the incident. Shops and other business establishments were closed while traffic movement, both private and public, was substantial reduced on roads as compared to a normal day.

Reports said a police party was attacked near Aga-lane in Budgam due to which Incharge Police Officer (DO) Soibug namely Manzoor Ahmad suffered stone injury in his head and was shifted to hospital. His PSO fired 2 aerial gunshots. However, there were no reports about injury to any civilian protest in the clashes.

Reports said students of Degree College and Central University Ganderbal also staged a protest against rape of the girl.

Scores of students and a peaceful protest marched from College complex upto Beehama Chowk Ganderbal. They were demanding stern punishment to accused.

North Kashmir

Protests and demonstrations were also reported from north Kashmir districts of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora. At places, the protests turned violent in which a number of people were injured, some of them critically.

Reports said clashes erupted in Trehgam, Odina, Chanabal, Mirgund, Hanjiwera, Hygam, Sopore, Uthoora and Baramulla. The government forces resorted to heavy teargas shelling and other means of force to quell the protesting youth.

A 23-year-old youth Arshad Ahmad son of Ghulam Mohammad Dar of Chanabal Pattan was critically injured after hit by a tear smoke shell in his forehead during clashes near Mirgund. Arshid was taken to nearby hospital where from he was referred to JVC Srinagar. A doctor said that Arshid suffered injuries in both of his eyes and skull. Reports of massive stone pelting clashes were also received from Gaggerpora Magam and other areas. In all, more than ten youth were injured, reports said.

In a statement, police said that 47 security personnel including One Assistant Commandant were injured during clashes in Pattan area.

“Miscreants staged protests and pelted stones on the security forces deployed on National Highway on the following locations— Mirgund, Chanabal, Harthrath, Singhpora, Jheel bridge, Kripalpora Payeen, and Hanjiwera, areas of District Baramulla, resulting in injuries to 47 security forces personnel including one Assistant Commandant of SSB 2nd battalion who was hit on his head,” the stamen reads, adding, “Utmost restraint was maintained by the forces on ground. However, about seven miscreants got injured who are all stable.”

The students of Model Women’s Degree College Kupwara also held a protest demonstration in Salkoote. They marched SSP and DDC complex Kupwara, demanding justice for the minor girl.

Reports said students of government Degree College Kupwara clashed with government forces following the protest march for capital punishment to the rapist.

Reports said that students including girls and boys raising slogans marched from College towards main town Kupwara. Upon reaching Bohipora Bridge near water pump shed, government personnel, deployed in the area, intercept the protesters.

In the meantime, some protesters started stone pelting upon the government forces who fired tear smoke shells to disperse them.

Reports said that scores of girl students marched from Salkoote through main town Kupwara to Deputy Commissioner’s Office, raising slogans in favour of the minor.

Reports said scores of people took out a protest rally from Lolab stand and marched through Jamia road upto main Hyhama Chowk. The demonstrators were raising slogans. The traders downed shutters.

South Kashmir

The students of Government Degree College Tral staged a peaceful protest demonstration near Bus Stand area against the rape of the minor girl.

The protest rally was taken out by the students, who were demanding justice for the victim and stern action against the accused.

The students and the staff of Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) in Awantipora also staged a peaceful protest demonstration against the rape of the minor.

Students of women’s college Anantnag, ITI collage Ashajipora Anantnag, and government Girls Higher secondary school Ranibag Anantnag took out separate protest rallies against the gruesome rape.

Sources said that the students, raising slogans, were demanding exemplary punishment to the guilty.

Clashes erupt in Ganziwara area of Anantnag district as around 15 youth pelted stones on 40 battalion CRPF Camp near Ganjiwara Anantnag. The CRPF personnel fired several tear gas shells and dispersed the protesters.

The paramilitary forces fired some aerial shots besides few teargas shells to disperse the protesters. One youth Fayaz Ahmad of Achabal suffered minor injury and was hospitalized.

Report of protest by lawyers was also received who staged a sit-in in lower court premises.

A protest rally was held in district court Pulwama and work was completely suspended for the whole day.

General Secretary of Bar Pulwama Bashir Ahmad Rather said that being the members of the society, “we feel ashamed and annoyed by the beastly act with 3 years baby by a devil. “We feel the pain and anger upon such unfortunate act. We condemn such an act,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kargil town observed shutdown and there were protests against the girl child’s rape.

The protest started from Jamia Masjid Kargil under the banner of Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust Kargil and passed through Kalon Rahim Khan (KRK) Chowk, Main Bazaar Kargil. The protesters were joined by the hundreds of students from Mutharry Public School and Women from Zainabia welfare Committee Kargil. Later the protest rally concluded at Kalon Rahim Khan Chowk Kargil (Lal Chowk).

The protesters were shouting slogans like “Punish the Guilty”, “Death to the Rapist”, “Hang the Rapist etc.” (GNS)

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