Srinagar: The business community of the valley on Saturday said that if the government is mulling to handover the case of the rape and murder of the minor Kathua girl to the CBI, they would have to endure a backlash from the biz community of the state.
Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, Mohammad Yaseen Khan, Chairman of the Kashmir Economic Alliance, said that a case of rape and murder should not be politicized by handing over to the CBI.
“This is a straightforward gruesome case of rape and murder which should not be politicized which the present dispensation ruling India is doing. Recently a senior union minister hinted at handing over the probe to CBI. By doing this, government would be making its biggest mistake,” Khan said .
He further added, “We won’t let this happen as earlier cases handed over to outside investigating agencies have not yielded any results. We would do whatever it takes for getting justice for the victim,” Khan added.
Khan, who also heads the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation alleged that by handing over the case to CBI, government wants to ‘hush up’ the whole thing.
“If they are handing over the case to the CBI then its clear that they want to hush up the matter. If justice is delayed in this case, it might engulf the whole valley and the sole responsibility will be on government’s shoulders,’ he warned.
Jitendra Singh, who is the Member of Parliament from the Kathua-Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat had said, “If people feel that they don’t have faith in the police or Crime Branch investigation and the case needs to be handed over to the CBI, I don’t think, there is any problem in handing over the case to the CBI. If the state government does so and recommends it to the Centre, we will definitely act on it.”
He also pointed out that how a large section of people along with a right wing Hindu outfit took out a rally in support of the ‘Khaki clad murderer’. “They came out with the tri-colour in their hands. They desecrated their flag by supporting a person who is accused of rape and murder,” Khan said.
Hindu Ekta Morcha, a right wing group had taken out a march reportedly with police protection in support of SPO Deepak Khajuria, who is accused of raping and murdering the 8-year old girl.
Ironically, Khajuria was the part of the team which was assigned to find the girl when she went missing.
Khan said government allowing “miscreants” to take out a rally in support of the accused and on the other hand arresting the ones seeking justice for Asifa justified “its double standards,”. “Muslim community in Jammu region is being targeted for one reason or the other,” Khan said.
The business leader also said that the present government is looking at the case through a political prim not as a humanitarian issue.
“We strongly demand that the guilty should be brought to book.The present-day dispensation ruling India is looking at this case from a political prism. Kashmir’s business community is today raising its voice on humanitarian grounds and have even received support from a cross section of people from Jammu,” Khan said.
Khan also mentioned that said recent threats from “miscreants” in Kathua to sever ties with Muslims in the area is completely unjustified and the business community out-rightly opposes it.
“We will not make any statement which creates a rift between the two communities in the state. The local business community would have reacted sharply even if the victim would have been from the minority community,” Khan said.
Khan said each individual in the state, irrespective of his or her ideology should come forward and seek justice for the victim and capital punishment for the culprits.
He also expressed surprise over the silence of both the Business Chambers of the state regarding the case.
“We were expecting them to make the stand of business community clear on the issue of boycott with Muslim nomads. But as no such thing happened as yet. We appeal both to KCCI and JCCI to play their much-needed role for the cause of humanity irrespective of their individual ideologies,” Khan said.
Khan also came down heavily on the Indian Media and the intelligentsia for not giving proper space to the incident.
“They didn’t cover it the way it should have been covered. There were no debates over the issue. The civil society also has been silent. This is so unfortunate,’ Khan pointed out.
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had also tweeted that if the case is being handed over to the CBI it would be ‘another installment in the price Mehbooba is paying to remain as the CM.’
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 22, 2018
After a prolonged silence, the voices for #JusticeForAsifa are getting shriller in the valley. Recently, a group of activists, students and concerned citizens under the banner of Justice for Asifa Solidarity Forum demanded a speedy probe and punishment for the culprits.