Kathua case refreshes trails of past denials: Report

Srinagar, May 22 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, as the family of eight-year-old rape and murder victim from Kathua, Aasifa Bano, awaits justice the wheels of the system move as notoriously slow as ever, raising apprehensions among many that this case may also meet the same fate, which numerous others met in the past, said a media report.

The register of rape and murder cases against the perpetrators of heinous crimes is long, and so is the saga of systematic denial of justice to the victims in the occupied territory, wrote Srinagar-based Greater Kashmir in its latest report.

“Between 1990 and 2009, major cases of gruesome crimes in Kashmir took place in which perpetrators have been identified but not tried or punished. In the winter of 1991, during a nightly siege of Kunan and Poshpora villages of Kupwara district 40 women were raped by 4rth Rajputana Rifles of Indian army’s 68 Mountain Brigade,” the report added. It deplored that no arrest was made in this case.

Much later, the Human Rights Commission of the occupied territory also confirmed that the soldiers had indeed raped the women and recommended the case be investigated by a Special Investigation Team. However, the puppet administration ignored the recommendation, and more than a decade later in 2014 the High Court asked the regime to implement it. But again, the Indian Army and the puppet administration together managed a stay order from a court to stall investigation into the crime of mass rape and torture, the report further said.

Finally, in 2015 the army secured a stay from the Supreme Court of India for any further proceedings in the case. Nothing has happened since then, and justice is as illusive for the victims of Kuna and Poshpora as it was in the beginning, the newspaper remarked.

The way crimes have been handled indicates that the attempt has been to deny justice rather than stay the judicial process, the report observed. “Almost all cases of sexual assault and rape blamed on government forces personnel have met the same fate,” the report held adding that almost all allegations of sexual crimes blamed on Indian troops since 1989 had either been dismissed as false or not investigated and tried.

The report also mentioned the notorious 2009 rape and murder of Aasiya and Neelofar by the troops in Shopian. The Justice Jan Commission constituted to probe the case clearly said, “It is evident that both the girls were raped and in order to destroy evidence, they were killed.”

This incident led to months of mass protests across the Kashmir Valley. The police claimed that it was a case of drowning. The same was later stated by Delhi-based Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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