A three-year-old girl was allegedly raped on Wednesday in the Sumbal area of Bandipora district, leading to widespread protests across the Valley on Sunday.
The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police has arrested the accused and protesters are demanding stringent punishment.
The girl was raped in the village just before iftaar, according to the complaint filed by her family. One of her relatives said the accused lured the child with candy, abducted and then raped her. “We found her in a nearby area and informed the local police,” said the family member.
Soon after the incident was reported, police officers arrested the accused who hails from a village in the area. The survivor was referred to a Srinagar-based hospital, where her condition is said to be stable, they added.
“A case was registered, and the accused was produced before the court which sent him on Police remand,” said SSP Bandipora Rahul Malik.
Calling for calm, Bandipora Deputy Commissioner Shahbaz Mirza said, “The heinous crime of rape of a minor in Bandipora is under investigation. We assure that perpetrator of the crime will be brought to justice. We appeal to the public to stay calm and not heed to any rumors.”
A senior police officer told The Indian Express that protests took place in more than 12 places mostly in Central and North Kashmir on Sunday.
Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani termed such incidents “ a black stain on our social fabric and rich culture.”
“Bribery and a poor sense of responsibility, both in judiciary and police administration, has left the galloping crime rate untethered, because of the disputed nature of our state. Political interference in these law enforcement institutions has infected and ruined the whole system. The Kathua incident, which has become a forgotten part of history now, is a proof in this respect,” he added.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted, “… @JmuKmrPolice must ensure a speedy investigation with only one consideration and that is to identify the guilty, prepare a watertight case & ensure exemplary punishment to those responsible. “Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also expressed her outrage. “Mortified to hear about the rape of a 3 yr old girl in Sumbal. What kind of a sick pervert would do this? Society often blames women for inviting unwanted attention but what was this child’s fault?Times like these, Shariah law seems apt so that such paedophiles are stoned to death,” she wrote.
Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq tweeted “Appeal all to maintain calm and introspect while demanding stern punishment and speedy justice for the victim.”Rape of 3-year-old in Bandipora sparks protests in Valley