Former J&K chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President, Mehbooba Mufti, has called for stoning the rapist of a three-year-old girl from Bandipora, North Kashmir. The horrific rape incident has put Kashmir on the edge with a spontaneous shutdown being observed in the Valley. Various Islamic religous organisations have also backed Mehbooba's demand for invoking Shariah (Islamic rule) in the Bandipora rape case and the public stoning of the culprit, who is said to be Tahir Ashraf Mir, a neighbour of the minor victim.
"Mortified to hear about the rape of a 3 yr old girl in Sumbal. What kind of a sick pervert would do this?Society often blames women for inviting unwanted attention but what was this child's fault?Times like these, Shariah law seems apt so that such paedophiles are stoned to death," she tweeted.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy criticised Mehbooba Mufti for pronouncing the judgement of the Bandipora rape case through Shariah laws as "absolutely ridiculous".
"The whole nation supports the brave educated Kashmir Valley women who came out in the streets to protest against most disgusting horrific rape of a 3 year girl. For Mehbooba to suggest that Sharia Courts should adjudicate is ridiculous," Swamy tweeted.
The three-year-old girl was abducted and raped by the 20-year-old neighbour in a small village of Bandipora when a majority of the people were busy breaking the fast in the evening. The victim was taken by the rapist, who is said to be a serial paedophile, to a public bathroom where he reportedly raped her. The father of the victim was looking for her and found her bleeding. He took her to the hospital and handed over the rapist to the local police.
In the meantime, a letter issued by a local organisation, Islamic Education Trust, certifying that the rape accused is a minor drew widespread condemnation from every corner of the state. The demands of hanging the rapist and the case be fastracked have also intensified in the Valley.
The rising incidence of rape in Muslim dominated Kashmir region over the course of the last few months have raised concern among the rights activists. Among the horrific cases of rape that emerged in the last few months was a case of a father raping his daughter.
"Although the valley is marred by violence and conflict, women here were relatively safe compared to other parts of the country. However, this scenario is fast changing and seemingly women are not even safe inside their homes. We have only one police station which pertains to the crimes related to women in the entire valley. There are no special courts mandated for such cases still, which needs to change," Mehr-ul-Nissa, an activist based in Srinagar said.