The horrifying tale of 8-year-old Asifa who was kidnapped, gang-raped, tortured and then finally murdered in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) is just so painful that one gets speechless due to shock and grief.
Asifa went missing on 10th of January, 2018, when she went to the forest to bring the horses home. The horses came back but Asifa didn’t.
The minor’s father with some neighbours started looking for her but they couldn’t find her. Two days later, on 12th of January, the family filed a police complaint.
But reported by the BBC, according to the the girl’s father, Muhammad Yusuf Pujwala, the police didn’t prove to be helpful and one of the police officers, the minor’s father alleges, said Asifa must have “elpoed” with a boy.
Five days later, on 17th January, body of 8-year-old Asifa Bano was found in bushes in the forest.
“She had been tortured, her legs were broken. Her nails had turned black and there were blue and red marks on her fingers and arm,” said Naseema Bibi, mother of the minor according to the BBC.
Police have arrested eight men, including a retired government official, four police officers, and a juvenile in connection with the minor girl’s death as reported by the BBC.
The arrests then led to the protests in Jammu and the two ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took part in the rally in support of the ones who are accused of the crime.
Ankur Sharma, one of the lawyers who protested on behalf of the accused said that the accused had been falsely implicated and the real culprits were still free.
What do investigators believe about the crime?
According to the BBC, On 23 January, Mehbooba Mufti, the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, ordered an investigation by the crime branch.
According to the investigators, the 8-year-old was confined in a local temple for several days. Asifa was given sedatives that kept her unconscious.
The charge sheet alleges that she was “raped for days, tortured and then finally murdered.” The 8-year-old was strangled to death and then hit with a stone on the head twice.
The investigators allege that Deepak Khajuria and the other police officers – some of those who lodged the complaint and accompanied the family in finding Asifa – washed the clothes of the 8-year-old which were bloodied and covered with splashes of mud before sending them to a forensic lab.
People stand up to demand justice for the minor girl
In Jammu and Kashmir state assembly, an opposition legislator, Mian Altaf demanded an inquiry in this case.
After coming to know about this horrible crime and inhumane treatment with Asifa, people stood up to seek justice for the 8-year-old.
Some famous personalities of India and Bollywood celebrities also talked about this heinous crime and demanded justice for Asifa via their social media accounts.
Yet again we've failed as a society. Can't think straight as more chilling details on little Asifa's case emerge…her innocent face refuses to leave me. Justice must be served, hard and fast! https://t.co/xrW5RVffLe
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) April 12, 2018
Dear @RahulGandhi, what is stopping you from condemning and speaking out against the brutal rape and murder of 8 year old Asifa in Kathua? State BJP ministers have openly backed the accused. What are you doing as a responsible opposition party? Where is your voice? Speak UP
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) April 12, 2018
How can anyone protect the culprits of such evil?
What happened to Asifa at #Kathua is a crime against humanity. It cannot go unpunished.
What have we become if we allow politics to interfere with such unimaginable brutality perpetrated on an innocent child?
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 12, 2018
Hindutva activists did not even let Asifa's family bury her in peace. Forced them to walk seven miles with her mutilated body, and bury her in another village.
Asifa paid the price of communal hatred. Asifa was 8 years old.#JusticeforAsifahttps://t.co/h72hK0Zt9Z
— Preeti Gulati (@preetigulati28) April 12, 2018
Imagine what goes through the mind of an 8 yr old as she is drugged, held captive, gang raped over days and then murdered.
If you don’t feel her terror, you are not human.
If you don’t demand Asifa get justice, you belong to nothing.
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) April 12, 2018
Inhuman!!! Appalling !!!!! Justice has to has to be served!!!!! #Asifa
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) April 12, 2018
Asifa's distraught mother with her clothes, the humble house where she lived. The kitchen where she sat watching her mother. And the fields, where she moved like a 'deer'. Gut-wrenching… (Photos Tarique Anwar) pic.twitter.com/1Vh8U2Bohh
— Muhammad Faysal (@_Faysal) April 12, 2018
I am a Hindu. I have never visited Kashmir. I have no friends or relatives who belong to Kashmir. But I am truly ashamed of witnessing this era of Modi, Adityanath, Hindu Yuva Vahini, Gau Rakshaks and alike because I have a daughter of the same age as Asifa! pic.twitter.com/iF7ZUyN5k3
— Kapil (@kapsology) April 12, 2018
May every single person — lawyer, minister, activist — who has protested in favour of the accused suffer the same pain that little Asifa did. Heartbroken and completely at a loss. #KathuaRape https://t.co/mqVEUKoE6X pic.twitter.com/b9JUTT0QLP
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) April 11, 2018
Can't imagine how anyone can have any rationale for what happened in #Kathua to #Asifa. All of you citing 'kashmiri pandits, valley muslims' even after seeing her images are perverts, be ashamed of who you are, shame on your existence. #JusticeforAsifa
— Supriya Shrinate (@SupriyaShrinate) April 11, 2018
. @narendramodi ji, you tweeted in minutes, on the suicide of farmer Gajendra in rally. But its been months, you haven't spoken a word on '8 years old Asifa's rape & murder, while BJP is wreaking mayhem in Jammu region. The whole country is shaken, but you.#JusticeforAsifa
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahuIGandhi_) April 12, 2018
I can’t help but think of this little girl with a sinking feeling in my heart that this is the end of us. Where there was once hope and faith in humanity, there is now disappointment, sadness & so much anger. I hope for the worst punishment for the scum that did this. #Asifa
— Diana Penty (@DianaPenty) April 12, 2018
— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) April 12, 2018
Just imagine how Indian media and public would have reacted to a Hindu girl being abducted, abused, raped and killed by several Muslim men while being hidden inside a mosque?
All Hindus who are silent about this ghastly crime that has been committed in their name are complicit.
— Sanjiv Bhatt (IPS) (@sanjivbhatt) April 11, 2018
Asifa’s mother described her little girl as a “chirping bird” who used to run like a deer. The 8-year-old was adopted by the couple as Muhammad Yusuf’s two daughters died in an incident some years ago.
“Asifa was the centre of our universe,” Naseema Bibi said as reported by the BBC.