Widespread Protest Against Alleged Rape Of 3-Year-Old In Kashmir

Widespread Protest Against Alleged Rape Of 3-Year-Old In Kashmir

Protesters pelted stones and clashed with security forces at several places.

At least a dozen people, including government forces personnel, were injured when tear gas and pellet shotguns were fired to quell the protests in many towns, top police officer Swayam Prakash Pani told AFP.

Hundreds of students also joined protest marches demanding justice for the victim.

Pakistan on Monday condemned the alleged rape of a three-year-old girl in Bandipora in Jammu and Kashmir and described it as a "humanitarian nightmare". "I hope investigation and trial is fast-tracked to 2-month deadline", he wrote on Twitter.

Students of Kashmir University, Central University and the Islamic University of Science and Technology boycotted classes and held protests.

"The heinous crime of rape of a minor in Bandipora is under investigation". "We are treating the accused as a major and not as a juvenile", a police official told India's PTI news agency.

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Across the Kashmir Valley, thousands of security forces wearing riot gear were deployed to contain the spreading protests, officials said. "We want the government to hang the culprit in public", said an angry protestor.

The alleged rape of the child in Sumbal on May 8 led to protests and violent clashes with security personnel in the area over the last few days.

Police have detained the principal of the accused's school for issuing a birth certificate which states he is 16 years old. At places, the protests turned violent with many people injured, some of them critically. The police took him into immediate custody and formed a special investigation team to probe the crime.

Former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, separatist leaders as well as a number of social, religious and political groups expressed shock over the incident. The victim's family has demanded justice and called for the hanging of the rapist. "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 pedophiles are stoned to death".

Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani termed the incident unfortunate and criticised law enforcement agencies for the growing crime.

"All of Kashmir stands in unison demanding sternest punishment against the brute perpetrator", he tweeted.

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