The former BBC broadcaster and chairperson Women’s Commission, Nayeema Ahmed Mehjoor, believes that whatever happened with a minority community girl in Kathua’sRasana has shattered every individual who has a humane heart. The PDP leader demanded capital punishment for the rapists while sharing her concern on several issues in an interaction with BivekMathur of the Greater Kashmir.
Q. You are a woman and a mother. How do you see the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua?
A: Rasana case is horrendous, slur on the face of humanity. When our place of worship has been turned into a “rape ghar”, where will the women folk feel safe? I was connected with this case since day one, when even some Hindus of the area, who spoke to me on January 17, were gutted by this brutal crime but couldn’t speak openly. Because of the ongoing investigation then, I didn’t utter a word. I wanted to see the outcome of the police investigation. I was taking latest details from concerned team of Crime Branch and I knew how a premeditated plan was hatched to intimidate this poor community. I thank the CB for doing their job professionally.
Q. Role of media in the case?
A: Media has played its role very well which was a ray of hope for me as well because at some point I thought the case might get shrouded into mystery of religion and politics. And, many influential people are taking side of the accused.
Q. Your opinion on lawyers obstructing the CB officials from performing their duties?
A: If lawyers obstructed CB to file case in CJM court, isn’t it against the law? If a woman lawyer who is helping the victim’s poor parents is abused and threatened, isn’t it a reason enough to thwart the judicial process…. These lawyers should be punished and barred from entering the court premises because taking side on the basis of religion will turn this state into hell. It will divide brother from another brother. They are detrimental to the harmony and the peace of the state.
Q. How do you see the allegations put forth by the accused saying the CB team didn’t investigate the case properly?
A: I don’t accept it. Let the court decide it and not the lawyers who are with one mindset having political patronage.
Q. Do you think the case needs to be shifted to Chandigarh?
A: If the victim’s family apprehends that they can’t have free judicial process in Kathua and Jammu, yes I will support this family and their lawyer to shift the case out of Kathua.
Q. Some people are out to divide people on the basis of religion. How do you see this?
A: They have done enough damage to JK’s harmony and brotherhood. Let us all stop these divisive policies and let them not succeed in their nefarious designs. Throughout my life, I was proponent of anti-capital punishment but not now…..I want the Kathua victim’s murderers to be given death sentence and every state should come with capital punishment for rapists. Or, the girls and women will not leave their doorstep for fear of being raped and murdered.