The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) High Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of the alleged rape of a three-year-old child in a North Kashmir village last week. Protests — some that have turned violent — broke out across the valley from Sunday, when news of the incident spread.
A division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Tashi Rabstan asked Kashmir IGP SP Pani to submit a report on the case status by Friday.
The J&K police have already said that the accused is in their custody. Along with the case status, Pani will also have to submit to the court details of steps for effective investigation as well as the protection given to the survivor and her family.
The state secretary for health and medical education was asked by the court to submit the steps taken regarding the medical examination, treatment and counselling and the state legal service authority will submit the status of effective legal aid granted to her.
The bench also expressed its dismay over the reporting of the case by the media.
“Our attention has been drawn to extensive reporting in the media regarding the incident in questions disclosing the identity of the minor victim… We are of the view that immediate action is required to be taken to identify the reports in the print and electronic media…” the court observed in its order. The bench also appointed advocate Farah Bashir as Amicus Curiae.
Meanwhile, after several protest rallies by students across the Valley turned violent, authorities closed down educational institutions in various districts on Wednesday.