Asif Iqbal Naik
A massive protest Friday rocks Kishtwar District over an alleged rape of a 15 year old girl hailing from remote Bhatkot village of Kuntwara in Kishtwar by four persons including a ReT teachers and a brother of Village Defense Committee member during intervening night of 24th and 25th of July 2013. As per the details the victim Ruksana (name changed) went to a nearby forest area for cattle grazing when the four persons identified as Ranjeet Singh (25 yrs) son of Duni Chand, Sanjeet Kumar Sharma (27 yrs) son of Manghat Ram Sharma an ReT teacher, Khem Raj son of Nek Ram and Charu Ram son of Manghat Ram abducted her and later committed rape on her by keeping her hostage throughout night. The victim is said to be the student of ReT teacher before she decided to quit the school couple of years ago.
After not returning home, the family members of the victim along with other villagers started searching for her and subsequently brought the matter into the notice of Kishtwar police. The girl was later handed over to the family members by Nek Ram happen to be the chowkidar of the said area beside the father of one among the rape accused.
After being handed over to the family members, the victim narrated the whole story to her family members and informed them about the sequel of events. The girl informed the family members that she was abducted by the four accused and among them two persons namely Ranjeet Singh and Sanjeet Kumar allegedly committed rape on her before she feel unconscious. She said that she was not sure whether the two other accuse committed rape on her during the time she was unconscious.
Later family members along with victim rush to Kishtwar and brought the matter into the notice of Kishtwar police. The family members alleged that the girl was raped on gun point as the accuse were the brother of VDC members including that VDC commander Deb Raj son of Duni Chand who according to the villagers is working with GREF while his official weapon was in position of his brother Ranjeet Singh arrested by the police. They also alleged that when the family members along with the villagers raised hue and cry over the rape of the minor, the team of nearly one dozen VDC committee members trained guns on them and threaten them of dire consequences in case they brought the matter into the notice of police. They alleged that the accused have full backing of local VDCs and demanded action against them.
While divulging details, Dy. SP headquarter Kishtwar Farooq Qaiser said that acting on the statement of the victim, Kishtwar police registered an FIR No: 126/2013 U/S 366-A, 376, 342, 109 RPC against the accuse and arrested two of them namely Ranjeet Singh and Sanjeet Kumar. He said that a manhunt has been launched to nab the other two absconding accuse. He said that the medical on the victim was also conducted at District Hospital Kishtwar and the report of the same is awaited. He said that police parities has already been rush to the village which is without road connectivity and required 6-8 hours by foot to reach the spot. He said that the accused will be dealt strongly in accordance to the law.
Meanwhile the people of Kishtwar lead by Immam Jamia Masjid Kishtwar Farooq Ahmed Kichloo held a strong protest against the incident and demanded immediate arrest of all the accused. While addressing the gathering of over 4000 people at bus stand Kishtwar, Immam Jamia Masjid Kishtwar demanded immediate disbanding of VDCs/DDCs. He said that both VDCs/DDCs are threat for the peace and tranquility in the area. He also demanded VDCs/DDCs for Muslim community as well in case the administration fails to act on the demand of disbanding of VDCs/DDCs. The protesters later dispersed off peacefully after the assurance given by the administration and police.
Earlier, the people of Kuntwara and Hasti held at strong protest at Hasti and blocked Kishtwar-Jammu National Highway for more than 3 hours. Sensing trouble, ASP Kishtwar Kulbir Singh, Tehsildar Kishtwar Indeerjeet Singh Parihar, Dy. SP Headquarter Kishtwar Farooq Qaiser rush to the spot and pacify the agitating people. After assurance from Tehsildar Kishtwar and ASP Kishtwar, the protesters agreed to lift the road blockade.