Shopian tragedy: Struggle for justice by family continues » Kashmir Media Service

I will fight for my sister and wife until my last breath: Ahangar

Srinagar, May 29 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, nine long years have passed since the brutal rape and murder of Aasiya and Neelofar of Shopian was committed by the Indian men in uniform but the unrelenting struggle for justice by Shakeel Ahmed Ahangar continues.

Over the past nine years, time has brought many changes in the life of Shakeel Ahangher, but it has not changed his unflinching resolve to fight for justice to his sister Aasiya and wife Neelofar who were raped and murdered by the uniformed men on this day nine years ago. “I will not give in to any pressure. I will fight for justice for my sister and wife until my last breath” Ahanager said.

On May 29, 2009, Aasiya, who was just 17 and Nelofar (22) had gone to their small orchard across the ankle deep Ranbir Ara stream in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. When they did not return home, the family members went out frantically searching the area before finally reporting to police. The next morning, lifeless bodies of the sisters-in-law, their clothes tattered, were found on the banks of Rambir Ara nullah, not far from a camp of Indian forces. The family and locals said that the two women were raped and murdered by the forces’ personnel.

The incident triggered widespread protests across occupied Kashmir. The occupied territory convulsed with outrage and shut in protest for 16 days. Shopian town had observed an unprecedented 47-day shutdown demanding justice for the young women. Nine years later justice still continues to elude the family and Shakeel Ahngar has lost faith in the Indian institutions demanding justice from independent international forums.

“I have no faith in Indian institutions. Be it judiciary or any investigating agency they are all biased and subservient to the government. They do what the government of the day wants them to do,” Ahangar said. He said that the puppet Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, had played politics on the issue. He said that during the so-called Assembly elections in 2014, she made “justice for Aasiya and Neelofar” a main poll plank in the entire south Kashmir and promised she would bring the culprits to book if voted to power. “She forgot everything as soon as she came to power. She has failed to redeem her election pledge,” said Ahangar.

“On every death anniversary of Aasiya and Neelofar, she (Mufti) along with her party activists would throng the press enclave to demand justice for the victims. Where has she vanished now?” he asked.

Ahangar’s son Susan, now eleven was just two when the tragedy struck. Now he is fully aware about what had happened on that fateful day. “Now, he knows everything about his mother, but he does not say anything. He talks very less and prefers to stay alone,” said Ahangar, adding that his teachers always complain Susan does not mingle with other kids in the school.

“It is not only the story of Susan, hundreds of such children are going through the same psychological trauma in Kashmir Valley,” Ahangar said.

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