Price of Silence joint statement with Polis Project (Research. Report. Resistance.) in condemnation of the gang-rape, murder, complacency, impunity of Asifa in Indian Occupied Kashmir. 

Introduction

Asifa Bano, an eight-year-old Bakherwal Muslim girl went missing from Rasana village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district on January 10, 2018. Her family filed a First Information Report two days later. On January 17, 2018, her body was recovered from the forest near Devisthan temple in the area. The post-mortem report has confirmed that she was raped and the cause of death has been listed as “asphyxia leading to cardiopulmonary arrest”.

She was abducted, imprisoned, given Epitril (a drug used to treat seizures and panic attacks), and, sexually assaulted at least on five occasions by four different persons – a juvenile, Parvesh Kumar, Vishal Jangotra, and, a local Special Police Officer, Deepak Khajuria. Between her disappearance and the discovery of her dead body, a Head Constable, Tilak Raj, and, a Sub-inspector Anand Datta, received money from one of the main accused, Sanji Ram, to hamper the search for the girl.

The police, therefore, did not search Devisthan temple, where the child was held captive. On finding the body, evidence was not gathered properly, and, some evidence was tampered with before submission for forensic testing. In addition to this, the juvenile accused was coached by the police to take the blame for the rape and murder and not implicate any of the others.

We are publishing the charge sheet, along with responses from scholars, writers, artists and citizens who place the rape and the gruesome murder in the larger context of occupation, militarization, use of rape as a weapon of war in the valley, settler colonialism, caste, and finally break down of constitutional morality.

Continue reading at the Polis Project: http://www.thepolisproject.com/asifa-a-story-of-militarisation-violence-and-justice/

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