70 hurt as Valley erupts against minor's rape, Guv assures exemplary punishment

TNN Bureau. Updated: 5/14/2019 11:49:34 AM Front Page

Not minor, says preliminary medical exam of accused, Principal booked too

SRINAGAR: The Kashmir Valley erupted in anger on Monday against the rape of a three-year-old minor, with 74 people injured in widespread clashes between the security forces and protesters, even as a ‘shocked and pained’ Governor Satya Pal Malik directed police to complete investigations on a fast track basis, with Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and Valley’s top cop asked to personally monitor the probe.
A separate inquiry has also been ordered to check the veracity of the age of the youth accused of raping the kid while preliminary medical examination of the accused has shown that he is not a juvenile.
Markets and educational institutions were shut and most transport went off the roads as protests broke out in all 10 districts of the Valley with those taking to the streets seeking death for the young man, Tahir Ahmed Mir, who allegedly raped the girl in Bandipora on May 9.
The incident occurred when Muslims were breaking their daily fast during the ongoing holy month of Ramadan.
Forty-seven security personnel were injured in Baramulla district when stone pelting mobs went on the rampage.
An official statement said an Assistant Commander of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) was hit on the head by a stone and he sustained a critical injury.
The accused, Tahir Mir, has been arrested.
A police statement said: "Miscreants pelted stones on security forces deployed on National Highway at Mirgund, Chainabal, Harthrath, Singhpora, Jheel bridge, Kripalpora Payeen and Hanjiwera areas of Baramulla, resulting in injuries to 47 security forces personnel including one Assistant Commandant of SSB 2nd Battalion who was hit on his head.
"Utmost restraint was maintained by the forces on ground. However about seven miscreants got injured (and) are all stable."
Clashes also occurred at a dozen other places between the security forces and stone throwing mobs during the day.
In Badgam district, 20 youths were injured in clashes with the security forces.
Students of Kashmir University, Central University and the Islamic University of Science and Technology boycotted classes and held protests.
Members of the High Court Bar Association stayed away from courts to express solidarity with the victim.
Seeking exemplary punishment to the rapist, Governor Satya Pal Malik Monday directed police to complete investigations in the incident on a fast track basis.
The state police has constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the rape case.
The governor has also directed the Divisional Commissioner and the Inspector General of Police of Kashmir to personally monitor the investigation, an official spokesman said.
Malik expressed deep shock and pain over incident and took a detailed report of the ongoing investigation in the case.
The governor has assured the people that the administration is taking all step for maintaining public order and anybody having any grievance or apprehension should contact the police control room or the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir's office, the spokesman said.
The governor also appealed to the people not to pay heed to rumours and said rumour mongers will be dealt strictly as per the law, he said.
"On learning about the unfortunate incident, the governor immediately spoke to S P Pani, IGP Kashmir, and took a detailed review of the ongoing investigations into the case," the spokesman said.
Malik directed the IGP to work swiftly in the case and ensure that the culprit gets exemplary punishment.
The governor has also spoken to religious leaders of different communities and asked them to deplore this gruesome incident, and appeal to the people to remain calm and not let anti-social elements disturb peace and harmony, the spokesman said.
Governor has urged the parents, teachers and prominent citizens to take significant steps in imbibing children with morally sound and value based education so as to build a strong foundation for our society based on compassion and kindness.
The spokesman said a separate inquiry has also been ordered to check the veracity of the age of the accused and ascertain the authenticity of the age certificate.
Preliminary medical examination of the youth accused of raping the girl has shown that he is not a juvenile, police said Monday.
"We are treating the accused as a major and not as a juvenile," a senior police official told.
"The doctors have given an opinion that he is around 20-years-old," the official said.
He said the police have also detained the principal of a school, who issued a birth certificate for the accused showing his date of birth as 23 July, 2009.
A controversy had arisen about the age of the accused after a private school issued the date of birth certificate.
Police suspected the genuineness of the certificate from the very beginning. They have lodged an FIR against the principal of the private school.
"The principal is under the custody and is being questioned," the official said.
He said the police are investigating the case and will take it to the logical conclusion.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan has said the inquiry into the incident is being conducted on a fast-track basis and will be concluded very soon.
Khan said justice will be done in the case and the culprit will be given severe punishment as per law. He appealed to the people to maintain peace, brotherhood and law and order.
Anybody having grievances regarding the incident can personally contact him immediately, Khan said.
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.
Mehbooba Mufti has said that the guilty of such a heinous crime should be stoned to death by invoking the Muslim Sharia laws.
Senior separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has appealed people to maintain harmony and ensure that miscreants were prevented from stoking sectarian strife using the most incident.
Pakistan on Monday also condemned the rape, terming it as a "horrific" incident.

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