Shopian Shuts to Remember Asiya, Neelofar on 7th Anniversary

Sheikh Hilal

SHOPIAN

Shopian Double Rape and Murder Protest on May 30, 2016

A complete shutdown was observed in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on the seventh anniversary of Asiya and Neelofar on Monday.

The duo was raped and then murdered in a canal on this day, here, in 2009.

Schools, shops and other business establishments remained closed in the town and adjoining areas including Imam Sahib, Zainapora, Gagran and Meemandar.

Public transport was off the roads, however, skeletal private transport plied.

The call for shutdown was given by Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani.

The death of Asiya and Neelofar had triggered widespread protests across the Kashmir valley in 2009. While the family members allege the women were raped before being murdered, a CBI investigation said the duo died due to drowning in Rambiara canal.

Earlier, on Sunday a protest demonstration was organised by family members of Asiya and Neloofar in press colony Srinagar along with some human rights activists.

Pertinently, on this day in 2009, Asiya, 17 and her sister in law, Neelofar, 21 had gone to their orchard before they were allegedly raped and murdered by men in uniform. The state government had immediately ruled out rape and murder and termed it as a case of drowning.

However, following outcry the government ordered a judicial inquiry while as the police also constituted Special Investigating Team (SIT) who in their reports did not rule out the rape and murder but the case was later handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which concluded that the women had died due to drowning.

Shopian Double Rape and Murder Protest by victim family and locals on May 30, 2016

Meanwhile, Shakeel Ahangar, brother of Asiya and husband of Neelofar has vowed to fight for justice. “I don’t except any justice from this system but will not give up till I am alive,” said Shakeel Ahangar.

He said that the state and Union governments hushed up the case and shielded the culprits but that has not deterred their resolve to fight for justice. “I appeal the independent rights organizations who have investigated the case to take up the issue in international forums so that justice is delivered to us”.

“I appeal to chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to reopen the case and investigate it through some independent agency which would be free from Indian pressure,” Ahanger added.

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