WASHINGTON: Hundreds of Kashmiris protested outside the White House on Sunday evening, demanding justice for Asifa Bano and other victims of recent Indian atrocities in India-held Kashmir.
“The murder of Asifa, an eight-year-old angel from Kashmir, has shaken the conscience of people not only in South Asia but all over the world,” said Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum.
Asifa was abducted, gang-raped and murdered in January this year in Kathua.
“The killers of Asifa used rape as a weapon of terror and fear to force her Muslim community out of the city of Kathua,” Fai said while addressing the White House rally.
The rally’s participants were waving placards and chanting slogans like: “Justice for Asifa”, “No Justice No Peace”, “Kathua Rape: Stain on Indian Democracy”, “Wake Up Wake Up: UN Wake Up”.
He demanded an impartial investigation into Asifa’s case by a neutral agency like the United Nations and urged the UN Secretary General to ensure that those guilty of this crime were brought to justice.
He also called upon the Secretary General to send a clear message to the Indian government that such brutality cannot be tolerated.
Professor Imtiaz Khan, president of the Kashmiri American Council, said that Asifa’s case was not an isolated incident as more than 10,000 have so far been raped by Indian forces in held Kashmir.
All those cases need to be reopened and investigated by an international neutral agency, he added.
Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2018