Protests continue in Valley against Bandipora rape
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.
A student hurling an exploded tear smoke canister at police during a protest in Srinagar on Tuesday.