#Kathua: Pulwama residents hold candlelight vigil in solidarity with Asifa

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by Umar Mukhtar

Srinagar: Residents of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Friday evening held an hour-long candlelight vigil at Murran Chowk in solidarity with the eight-year-old nomadic girl Asifa, who was first raped and then killed in Rasana, Hiranagar village of Jammu Kashmir’s Kathua district.

Scores of youth gathered at Pulwama’s Murran chowk holding placards which read  “Justice for Asifa,” “Hang the killers,” “Shame on India’s Judiciary,” “Hang the Rapists,” “Stop covering up rapists,” “Is Asifa not India’s daughter like Nirbhaya.” The residents, especially youth urged every passerby to join in the vigil for an issue that affects all of the womankind.

Residents holding a candlelight vigil at Murran chowk in Pulwama, KL image by Umar Mukhtar

The protests in solidarity with Asifa are being closely followed by all over the world by holding rallies and conferences. Besides routine reportage, several newspapers have carried editorials and used the case to draw attention to violence against women all over the world.

On January 17, the body of a minor girl was found in the forests near Rasana, Hiranagar. The girl had been missing for a week. According to police, she had been abducted and raped by an SPO Deepak Khajuria, who was a part of the team sent out to find her when she was missing.

Nine accused, including the alleged mastermind Sanji Ram – an ex-bureaucrat – and his son Vishal Kumar, a police head constable, two SPOs and a sub-inspector of police, have been arrested in the case.

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