The story of Asifa leaves some questions for the public intellectuals in India.
What made their eyes blind to her pain?
Where do they bring this hate that made their hearts dark enough to mercilessly drug a small girl?
What made their hands not shiver when they assaulted her?
The Horse that Returned Alone…
8-year old Asifa lived with her parents and siblings in a small house near the forestland of Rasana, a village in Kathua, near Jammu. She was grazing her horses near her home that day. It was the 10th of January.
Probably one of her horses went too far. She was enquiring about it from a woman. Two people voluntarily offered help. On pretext to have seen her horse(s) they lead her into the forest.
That evening, the horse returned. That evening, the horse returned alone!
Asifa returned a week later – as a dead body, beyond recognition!
Raped. Gangraped! Starved. Drugged with sedatives. Choked to death with her dupatta. Thrown away in the jungle!
Maybe God is Blind too!
All this happened in a temple. Some heinous butchers of humanity mercilessly assaulted the little girl for a period of three days. They continuously drugged her so that she is unable to raise any alarm.
In fact, this was a preplanned plot to scare the nomadic Bakarwal community out of the area. The main conspirator, a 62 years old Sanji Ram, retired revenue official, is the caretaker of the ‘UNHOLY’ temple. He managed to bring in his nephew, who involved one if his friend. Both of them led Asifa to the forest where they forcefully drugged her and…
Then they locked her up in the temple. By this time, Asifa‘s parents started to enquire about her whereabouts, but in vain. They even asked Sanji Ram, he denied to have seen her.
On the 12th of January, Asifa’s father lodges an FIR about his missing daughter.
All this while, they continuously raped and drugged the innocent little child. They even left her starving. His son too came from Meerut to ‘satisfy his lust’ when ‘called to satisfy his lust’ by his nephew.
Policemen Investigating Asifa’s Case were involved!
Sanji Ram also gets in touch with local policemen, bribes them 1.5 lakhs to cover up the entire ploy. Meanwhile, the policemen instructed to look into the matter were also the same.
A day later (13th), they decide to kill her. Humanity was killed long ago, and what was left now of the little child had now to be devoured by the devils in uniform – ‘one last time’, the scoundrel said!
She went through the ordeal again. Finally, they strangled her to death. Only if that was all, she was hit on her head with a stone – twice, to confirm that she really died.
All this was not enough…
Asifa‘s family wanted to bury her in the plot they owned. But they couldn’t. The local Hindu villagers obstructed the funeral. They didn’t want a graveyard in the village.
The postmortem report came two months later. Earlier, the Medical Superintendent who confirmed rape was transferred. Surprisingly, Lawyers blocked the crime branch teams from filing the charge sheets.
Waah Re Bharat Mata k Laadlo…
Two ministers of the BJP-PDP government joined the protests. They also allegedly spoke in support of the culprits.
Some others have ‘expectedly’ come up with their lowlife explanations. One said that people are communalising the issue.
Communalising, Really? So, Asifa was not a victim of hate crime? Our conscience should make that very clear!
Indians, Communal Hate is Real!
Let us not ignore it. Let us accept the truth. We live in a secular country. And yet, this happened. Why would Sanji Ram want to drive away the Bakarwals?
We have heard, seen, read about elected politicians spewing venom in their speeches. Though no party can be spared, I’ve no regret to say that undoubtedly, most BJP leaders are forerunners at this. The Hindutva tag that BJP leaders carry around is the first reason for the rise in communal hatred in our Secular country.
Definitely, the second reason is the silence, inaction and ‘impotence’ of the party leadership to act against their hate mongering members.
Then there’s this “whataboutary“! What about Kashmiri Pandits? What about Anti-Sikh Riots? Here? There? Then? Now?
Some messages are also doing around on social media. If it wasn’t a temple but a mosque, and some Anjali instead of Asifa, there wouldn’t have been so much chaos. Why? Accept it if your conscience is alive. Asifa or Anjali, why should anyone suffer because of the sick mindset of others?
We have been ignorant!
Communalism is real, and rising. We have to stop it today, now or never. See the intensity of brainwashing when people protest arrest, when people celebrate the gory incident in their social media posts!
We have been ignorant. We are covering up a grave crime when we say let us not give it a communal angle. Instead, we should open up to this, and accept it, yes this is happening because some bastards incite hate among communities.
This is happening because whenever someone talks illicit about some other communities, (doesn’t matter Hindus or Muslims, Christians, Sikhs etc.) people are willing to listen. And whenever someone talks illicit about some other communities, we who find it wrong, keep mum.
Where are you Asifa?
Nobody wants to see their friends or family go through such inhumane ordeal. Asifa was no one to me, no one to others who have come together demanding #JusticeForAsifa.
She died! Nirbhaya died! The country came together for once. Then forgot. Rapes have become common. A heinous assault to become everyday news in our country is shameful to the core. Yet Rapes, Hate Crimes, Communal Violence continues!
We want this to change. It should start with us. Living and preaching a life of moral values is very important. Stricter laws and an even stricter punishment is equally important. There’s no hope left. Asifa was 8.
To talk of hate or communal crimes, India is a country known for its unity in diversity. We have lived for centuries as one. Let us not allow some venomous sick snakes disguising as public representatives harm our secular fabric. It is time for the public intellectuals to raise their voice, now or never!
Rise against Communal Crimes! Rise for Secularism! For Brotherhood! Rise for Humanity!
Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal.