Ashifa’s relatives protest in Anantnag, warn of massive agitation

“What had this minor done? She was with her family as part of our nomadic practice,” said Jamal, a protester.

KHALID GUL
Anantnag, Publish Date: Jan 24 2018 1:03AM | Updated Date: Jan 24 2018 1:03AM
Ashifa’s relatives protest in Anantnag, warn of massive agitationPhoto: Mir Wasim/GK

Several relatives of the eight-year-old Ashifa Bano, who was raped and murdered in Kathua last week, demonstrated in Anantnag on Tuesday and warned of an agitation by the Gujjar and Bakerwal community if the “culprits” are not booked immediately.

Among the protesters were several residents of the girl’s native village in Anantnag.

Carrying placards, the agitated relatives staged a protest outside the office of the deputy commissioner Anantnag and demanded an independent probe into the incident.

“What had this minor done? She was with her family as part of our nomadic practice,” said Jamal, a protester.

“Gujjar and Bakerwals are more than 26 lakh in number. If they fail to provide us justice it would be a full-fledged revolt,” said another protester.

The protesters said the government announced the arrest of only a juvenile to “shield the real culprits”. The family suspects the involvement of five to six people in the crime, they said.

Ashifa actually hails from Anantnag’s Brari Aangan village in Shangus tehsil. 

She was abducted on January 10 in Kathua, where her family was camping as part of their nomadic practice.

Her body was recovered on the outskirts of her native village on January 17 with marks of violence all over her body.

Her death triggered protests inside and outside the Assembly, with protesters and the opposition seeking action against the police for “not making efforts” to trace her after she was abducted. 

In a damage-control move, the government suspended the local SHO for “lax” approach.

On Tuesday, the government said that it has handed over her case to the Crime Branch.

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