Outrage has spread across Jammu and Kashmir over the rape of a three-year-old in Sumbal area of Bandipore district last week. The accused, who has been arrested, has claimed that he is a minor. Protests by students, political parties and the civil society have spread across the Kashmir Valley, with calls for strictest possible punishment.
J&K Raj Bhavan: Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed deep shock&pain over the extremely heinous incident of rape of 3-year old girl from Bandipora dist. Governor has directed IGP Kashmir to work swiftly & ensure that the culprit gets exemplary punishment for this shameful act.— ANI (@ANI) May 13, 2019
The rape of a child in Tirgaam is a travesty. @JmuKmrPolice must ensure a speedy investigation with only one consideration and that is to identify the guilty, prepare a watertight case & ensure exemplary punishment to those responsible.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) May 12, 2019
Mortified to hear about the rape of a 3 yr old girl in Sumbal. What kind of a sick pervert would do this?Society often blames women for inviting unwanted attention but what was this child's fault?Times like these, Shariah law seems apt so that such paedophiles are stoned to death— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) May 11, 2019
The incident is believed to have happened last week. The accused had given the child some sweets and taken her to an isolated courtyard in Trigam village, where she was assaulted.
When the child narrated the incident to her parents, her father took the man to the police.
Medical examination has confirmed rape and the arrested accused has been booked under rape charges and POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences), a senior police officer said.
A controversy, however, started after the accused produced a certificate from a private school that says he is a minor.
Angry villagers demanded that the school be sealed, some even attempted to set it on fire. Police said the school's principal, who is also a close relative of the victim, has been taken into custody.
"A medical board will determine the age of accused through ossification test. We have not entertained the certificate issued by school principal'' said a senior police officer. Official sources said the principal is in "protective custody" because police fear he may be harmed by angry villagers.
Several schools and colleges have closed after protesting students clashed with security forces. All political parties and religious and social groups have strongly condemned the incident and demanded that the investigation be fast-tracked.
A special investigation team (SIT) has been formed to investigate the case. Officials have clamped down on mobile internet services to prevent further protests.