Sunday, 13 January 2013

5 years after Kashmir girl's rape-murder, family waits for justice

5 years after Kashmir girl's rape-murder, family waits for justice

SrinagarSince July 2007, Abdul Gani Shah has been juggling a pile of legal documents, horrifying eye-witness statements and painful memories as he fights to get the men who allegedly gang-raped and murdered his 14-year-old daughter punished. More than five years later, he says is nowhere close to getting justice.

The body of Mr Shah's daughter - an eighth standard girl - was found in Langate area of north Kashmir. The family says even fast-tracking the case has not helped. 

"Four men abducted her on way from school and raped her. They slit her throat and dumped her body," says Iqbal Ahmad, the girl's brother.
"The case was initially heard thrice a week and we had hoped it would be completed very soon. In the second year, the hearings were twice a week and later once in 15 days. Five years have passed like this," he says.

The case, like the 23-year-old medical student's gang-rape in Delhi last month, had evoked massive protests in Kashmir. The four suspects were arrested. Bite marks of the girl on them helped the police establish their crime. 

The Jammu and Kashmir government, then led by Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, instituted a bravery award for children in the girl's name. It even promised the family a quick trial and compensation - assurances that have turned out to be empty.

Mr Shah says he doesn't want compensation anymore. "My only demand is that the rapists should be hanged," he says.

His family and relatives are fighting another legal battle. At least 20 people who took part in the protests against the gang-rape-murder are still facing police cases.
"We were only demanding justice, but have been blamed for disturbing law and order," says Masood Ahmad, the girl's other brother.


No comments: