Srinagar, February 23 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, civil society members have started a solidarity campaign on social media to press the justice for the 8-year-old Aasifa Bano of Kathua who was brutally raped and murdered by an SPO of the Indian police last month.

The civil society members held a silent sit-in protest at Pratap Park in Srinagar and demanded stern action against the culprits.

“We want to inform the authorities that we have initiated a committed protest to make sure that this case is taken to its logical end and the perpetrators are punished,” the civil society members said in a joint statement.

They said that they would continue their peaceful protests in varied forms to ensure that the communal and biased forces do not become successful in aiding the release of the perpetrators and harassing the Gujjar community to which the minor girl belonged.

Rayees Rasool, one of the campaigners, said, “The gruesome rape and murder of the minor girl in Kathua has shaken the foundations of our society and marred our soul. We demand a speedy investigation to punish the culprits.”

An open solidarity forum ‘Justice for Aasifa’ also held a demonstration. Social activists, writers, doctors and students, who participated in the demonstration, said that this forum would serve as a platform to raise voice for providing justice of Aasifa and also push for the capital punishment to the culprits.

The Chairperson of Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies, Professor Hameeda Nayeem addressing the gathering said the crime has two motives. One is rape and another is the larger motive to drive away the Gujjar community to change the demography of the territory, she added.

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