Eight-Year-Old Rape Spreads Outrage Across The Country

Women stage protest demanding justice for the victims of Kathua and Unnao rape cases in Kolkata on Wednesday

The monument was the scene of protests more than five years ago following the 2012 gang-rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, a student who came to be known as Nirbhaya - Hindi for fearless - whose death galvanised a national movement against sexual assault. Asifa Bano was kidnapped on January 10 while grazing her horses. Weeks after her body was found, lawmakers still questioned the police's behavior in the days after Asifa disappeared: Police waited two days to file a report after Asifa disappeared, for example, and did not alert newspapers until days after she was killed, according to the Asia Times.

Angrily Hashim Qureshi said shame on people of Jammu who are kept mum against this brutal rape and murder.

Even in India, which can appear nearly inured to daily reports of horrific sex attacks - many on children - the details of Asifa's case have been met with outrage....

Along with Asifa, the protesters were also demanding justice for the rape victim in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh.

Her strangled body was later found in the forest near the temple with one of the three suspected rapists said to be a policeman. Dutta even washed the clothes Asifa was wearing at the time of her death to remove any blood or semen stains, the charge sheet said.

Residents of Kathua's mainly Hindu community, however, claim the men are innocent, and have protested against their arrest for months.

Police say the attack in January on Asifa Bano had been planned for over a month as a way to terrify the Bakarwals, a Muslim community of nomadic herders, into leaving the area in the Kashmir Valley, reported the Daily Mail.

The BJP must "rein in the mob", he said, adding that it "must stand for what is just and lawful, qualities they have frequently abandoned when minorities are involved".

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On the other hand, nationalists protested in favour of the accused in Jammu. Rasheed added that it was the miscalculation of the communal forces of Jammu that they highlighted Asifa's rape and murder case by holding continuous protests and even the lawyers stopped crime branch from producing the charge sheet, which invited a huge outrage on social media both at national and global level, thus forcing the national TV channels to end their shameless and immoral silence over the issue.

For generations, Bakarwal nomads, who drift with their herds across the plains and hills of northern India, have leased pastures from Hindu farmers for their animals to graze in winter.

If the accused men aren't released, she said, "we will burn ourselves".

But over the past 20 years some have begun settling in permanent homes, usually built in forests, sparking conflicts with people already living in those areas.

After her family lodged a complaint on January 12, the police arrested eight men, including a retired government official, four police officers and a juvenile.

At the center of the controversy is a debate over the impartiality of the local police investigators, who supporters of the accused claim are biased, owing to their Muslim faith.

"As a country, as a society we all are ashamed of it", he said.

Taking the same line, lawyers protested against the police and blocked the court in Kathua, Jammu, to prevent the Jammu and Kashmir Police Crime Branch from filing the chargesheet in the case.

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