Monday’s deplorable acts of lawyers and the judge in Kathua have left millions of Indians speechless.
First, lawyers in Kathua took an extraordinary step to stop the Jammu and Kashmir crime branch from filing the charge-sheet in the gang-rape and murder of 8-year-old Asifa.
The administration had to call for additional enforcements to deal with the lawyers, now widely being termed as thugs. When the crime branch finally managed to enter CJM court to present the charge-sheet, the judge refused to accept the charge-sheet.
The events have evoked angry reactions from almost everyone across social media platforms. Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Omar Abdullah, wrote, “Lawyers in #Kathua Jammu tried to stop the J&K Police Crime Branch from filing a charge sheet in the case of the rape & murder of an 8 yr old girl but some “news” channels are happier reporting outside a chola bhatura shop.”
Drawing a parallel with Asifa’s gang-rape and murder with the Delhi gang-rape of December 2012, activist Kavita Krishnan wrote, “Whole world spoke 4 Jyoti Singh in December 2012. What happened to 8 year-old Ashifa was no less brutal torture, gangrape, murder. Demand #JusticeForAshifa, shame on silence of @PMOIndia even as Hindu Ekta Manch, Kathua Bar Association rally for rape-accused, block chargesheet.”
Journalists too took to Twitter to register their outrage.
Now the thugs in black coats are invoking Ram’s name to prevent @JmuKmrPolice from filing chalan in 8-year-old Asifa’s rape case in Kathua, Jammu. These people are the biggest enemies of Hinduism. pic.twitter.com/lOc2PMDLfz
— Rahul Pandita (@rahulpandita) April 9, 2018
The extremist Hindu right wing lawyers of Kathua have the audacity to take pride in preventing the filing of the chargesheet against 7 accused in the rape & murder of 8 year old Muslim girl. pic.twitter.com/YwS4ZqHaF8
— Khurram Parvez (@KhurramParvez) April 9, 2018
— Shujaat Bukhari (@bukharishujaat) April 9, 2018
— Shuja-ul-haq (@ShujaUH) April 9, 2018
Has it happened before. Chargesheet not being allowed to file in Kathua court by lawyers – do you believe it lawyers – in a rape and murder case of an 8 year old girl. Why, because accused are provided political cover. Goodaism ruling its roost. How shocking?
— Mufti Islah (@islahmufti) April 9, 2018
Many felt that the lawyers’ protest followed by the judge’s reluctance to accept the charge-sheet was because the 8-year-old victim of gang-rape and murder carried a Muslim name while all the accused are Hindus. This explains why several BJP leaders had extended their support to a rally, taken out in support of the arrested police officer in the gang-rape and murder case.
The protest by lawyers and the CJM’s questionable conduct has brought the impartiality of the Indian judicial system under scanner. A similar incident had taken place in Pakistan around the same time when little Asifa was brutalised before mercilessly killed. The judiciary in Pakistan punished the guilty in record time while sentencing him to multiple hangings.