As soon as the bone-chilling details about rape and murder of a child in Kathua came to fore this week, the gruesome incident hogged the headlines in media. From TV studios in New Delhi to reputed newspaper like New York Times, the cries of justice for the victim, eight-year-old Asifa, have grown louder since.
In its report headlined“an 8-Year-Old’s Rape and Killing Fuels Religious Tensions in India,” the New York Times wrote that the incident “seemed another isolated, horrific episode of sexual violence in India, perpetrated against a powerless girl by brutal men. But in the months since Asifa’s murder, the case has become another battleground in India’s religious wars”.
“Hindu nationalists have turned it into a rallying cry — not calling for justice for Asifa, but rushing to the defense of the accused. All of the men arrested are Hindu, and Asifa’s nomadic people, the Bakarwals, are Muslim,” reads the report.
The electronic media is also leading the campaign of justice for Asifa. Almost all news channels including NDTV, CNN-NEWS18, Times Now, Republic TV and Mirror Now are extensively covering different aspects of the case non-stop over the past two days.
The social media is also seething with anger over the incident. The hashtag Justice for Asifa is trending over twitter with over more one lakh tweets on the subject till this evening.
The politicians, Bollywood celebrities and sportsmen have also expressed shock over the crime and demanded justice for Asifa.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi called the incident as “a crime against humanity”.”How can anyone protect the culprits of such evil?What happened to Asifa at #Kathua is a crime against humanity. It cannot go unpunished. What have we become if we allow politics to interfere with such unimaginable brutality perpetrated on an innocent child?” Rahul tweeted.
V K Singh
Union Minister V K Singh took to twitter to express anguish over the incident and said justice will be provided to Asifa.”We have failed Asifa as humans. But she will not be denied justice,” Singh, who is also a former Army chief, tweeted.
Union Minister for Women and Child Development said that justice will be done in the case. ”I am against any kind of violence against women and children. Will ensure that justice is done,” she told a New-Delhi based news channel.
Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir said Indian consciousness was raped in Kathua and also threw down a challenge to the system to punish the perpetrators. “Indian consciousness was raped in Unnao and then in Kathua. It’s now being murdered in corridors of our stinking systems. Come on ‘Mr System’, show us if you have the balls to punish the perpetrators, I challenge you,” he tweeted.
Tennis star Sania Mirza has expressed shock over the horrific crime.“Is this really the kind of country we want to be known in the world today? If we can’t stand up now for this 8 year old girl regardless of our gender, caste, colour or religion then we don’t stand for anything in this world, not even humanity.. makes me sick to the stomach,” Mirza wrote on Twitter.
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt said that justice has to be served now to Asifa’s family.
“We have failed as a society! Being a father, I am shaken and filled with anger reading about what happened to aN 8 year old kid. My heart goes out to Asifa’s family. I refuse to accept we really let THIS happen. Justice has to be served NOW,” he tweeted.
Poet and songwriter Javed Akhter tweeted “all those who wish justice for women should stand up”.
Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag said he is “at a loss of words for 8-year-old Asifa.”
Bollwood actress Sonam Kapoor said that that she cannot believe that this is happening in her country. “Ashamed, appalled and disgusted by fake nationals and fake Hindus. I cannot believe this is happening in my country,” she tweeted.
“Imagine what goes through the mind of an 8 yr old as she is drugged, held captive, gang-raped over days and then murdered. If you don’t feel her terror, you are not human. If you don’t demand Asifa get justice, you belong to nothing,” he tweeted.
Bollywood actress Richa Chadda slammed those who defended the rapists and murderers of Asifa. “Nothing justifies rape/murder of a /minor. How dare they use cow-slaughter as an EXCUSE when the act was performed in a TEMPLE? These people are FAKE HINDUS, they are a disgrace to the religion. Shame on ALL those who defend them,” she tweeted.
Riteish Deshmuk said “we should stand for what is right even if you are standing alone.”
“An 8 year old is drugged, raped & murdered and another one is fighting for justice for herself and the death of her father in custody. We have a choice either raise your voice or be a silent spectator. Stand up for what is right even if you are standing alone,” he tweeted.
Actress Dia Mirza said she is heartbroken and filled with anger over the horrific crime.