Protests con­tinue in Val­ley against Bandi­pora rape

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Region - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ter­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

SRI­NA­GAR: Protests con­tin­ued in Kash­mir against the al­leged rape of three-year-old girl in north Kash­mir’s Bandi­pora dis­trict, with pro­test­ers block­ing the Sri­na­gar – Bara­mulla na­tional high­way for the sec­ond day on Tues­day.

There has been no let-up in the protests de­spite gov­ern­ment hav­ing promised time-bound en­quiry into the in­ci­dent, which took place on May 9. Po­lice have ar­rested the ac­cused, Tahir Ahmed Mir, and set up a spe­cial investigat­ion team (SIT) to com­plete the investigat­ion speed­ily.

Stu­dents of Amar Singh Col­lege took out a rally against the mi­nor’s rape and pelted stones on po­lice, who then re­sorted to tear smoke shells and pel­lets to dis­perse the pro­test­ers. Few mov­ing ve­hi­cles were also stoned by the pro­test­ers, forc­ing the traf­fic to stop. No in­juries were re­ported.

Stu­dents of Women’s Col­lege, Kash­mir Univer­sity be­sides other col­leges protested in large num­bers against the heinous crime. Protests were also held at Bem­ina De­gree Col­lege cam­pus with stu­dents de­mand­ing stern ac­tion against the ac­cused.

The gov­ern­ment has al­ready or­dered clo­sure of col­leges and schools in sev­eral towns of north Kash­mir as of­fi­cials ap­pre­hended wide spread protests across the in­sti­tu­tions. Po­lice and para­mil­i­tary forces have been de­ployed on Sri­na­gar –Bara­mulla na­tional high­way and other sen­si­tive pockets of the Val­ley, es­pe­cially in north Kash­mir. A se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer said pro­test­ers blocked the na­tional high­way at Singh­pore and its ad­join­ing lo­cal­i­ties for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day, forc­ing po­lice to di­vert the traf­fic to­wards ad­ja­cent routes. Be­sides speedy trial, pro­test­ers de­manded ex­em­plary pun­ish­ment to the rapists. The traf­fic was later re­stored on the high­way. On Mon­day, more than 60 peo­ple were in­jured, in­clud­ing 47 po­lice­men, as demon­stra­tions raged across the restive north­ern ter­ri­tory against the in­ci­dent. Dozens of ve­hi­cle, in­clud­ing am­bu­lances were also dam­aged by the pro­test­ers. On Tues­day, gover­nor Satya Pal Ma­lik has sought ex­em­plary pun­ish­ment to who­ever raped the mi­nor girl in Bandi­pora dis­trict.

Po­lice have also booked the prin­ci­pal of a pri­vate school that had is­sued a date of birth cer­tifi­cate in favour of the ac­cused show­ing him as a mi­nor.

Pre­lim­i­nary med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion of the ac­cused shows Mir is an adult.

WASEEM ANDRABI/HT

A stu­dent hurl­ing an ex­ploded tear smoke can­is­ter at po­lice dur­ing a protest in Sri­na­gar on Tues­day.

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