Srinagar, April 14: Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians of Jammu on Friday demanded justice for Kathua rape and murder victim Asifa Bano and severe punishment to the accused.
Shouting slogans ‘Asifa hum sharminda hain tere Qatil zinda hain (Asifa we’re ashamed that your murderers are alive), people from all four communities assembled at Tallab Khatikan and demanded that the accused should be hanged.
“Those who murdered Asifa don’t belong to any religion as no religion of the world teaches its disciples to commit such a heinous crime. We demand the accused should be hanged to death,” a Muslim youth, Jehangir Ahmed Bhat, said.
He lashed out at the BJP leaders who had attended a rally organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch in Kathua and had questioned the credibility of state police and Crime Branch.
“Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who is also state home minister should withdraw security from the BJP leaders who have lost faith in the police,” Bhat said.
Bhat also slammed some “anti social elements” who are trying to create a communal divide in Jammu region.
He said, “We the people of Jammu have lived together for the past 70 years. We would never tolerate such divisive forces who are trying to give a communal colour to Asifa case.”
President Rajinder Bazar Association Atul Raj Pal said, “Let us not get divided over Asifa case. She was my daughter, every Hindu’s daughter and those who murdered our daughter ruthlessly need to be hanged publicly.”
“It is very painful that in a state which is headed by a woman CM it took three months to file the charge sheet. The justice to the girl was delayed. All culprits should be brought to book,” he said.
Asked whether the CBI demand in the case was justified, he said, “Why CBI? We have complete faith in our police and we know that the case was investigated impartially. Let the judiciary play its role now so that the victim gets justice.”
He said, “We should not see this brutal murder of humanity in the prism of religion. All communities should join their hands to ensure justice to the innocent girl.”
In the evening, students from Ladakh and Jammu organised a candle march.
The students assembled outside the Press Club of Jammu and later marched towards the Bikram Chowk, where they prayed for peace to the departed soul.
A Ladakhi student said, “We’ve assembled here in support of a girl child who was brutally raped and murdered by some beasts.”
“We pray for the eternal peace to the departed soul,” he said. Similar protests were witnessed in other parts of Jammu.