Kashmir observes shutdown against rape of 3-year old girl

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Violent clashes erupted in Kashmir today as stone-throwing protesters battled riot police in a wave of anger after a three-year-old girl was raped in a school bathroom.

Soon after the incident was reported, police officers said that the girl was referred to a Srinagar-based hospital while the accused, who hails from a village in the area, was arrested.

Officials said that a youth who has been identified as Asif Ahmad Wani, resident of New Colony Harran Ganderbal was arrested on Tuesday after being accused of rape of a minor.

Students of Kashmir University and Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) also staged peaceful protest rallies in their campuses. "We appeal to the public to stay calm and not heed to any rumors". Official sources said the principal is in "protective custody" because police fear he may be harmed by angry villagers.

The incident happened last Wednesday evening when a local of Malikpora, in Sumbal area of Bandipora, lured the child with chewing gum and took her to a toilet in a nearby school and raped her.

Kashmiri women participate in a protestagainst the alleged rape of a 3 year old girl from north Kashmir at Mirgund, outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Monday, May 13, 2019.

Additional Director General of Police Munir Khan said the case needs to be probed further.

Shops, businesses and schools were also shut across the Muslim-majority region in response to a strike called by separatist cleric Moulana Masoor Abbas to protest the rape. The Srinagar-Baramulla stretch of the National Highway-44 was blocked at several places and stones were thrown at both private vehicles and those carrying security forces. "Times like these, Shariah law seems apt so that such paedophiles are stoned to death". "Justice will be done and the culprit will be given severe punishment as per law".

Malik has conducted a detailed review of the case and directed Kashmir IG of police SP Pani to ensure justice to the victim. "It is expected from the governor administration to rise up to the occasion and serve exemplary punishment to the person behind the crime that has send shivers down the spine of every right-thinking person".

"These child rapists are out there because we have failed as a society".

In Badgam district, 20 youths were injured in clashes with the security forces. "We demand that politicians and state leaders should come forward to act very harshly against this culprit so that such incidents are not repeated in the future", a protestor said. "All of Kashmir stands in unison..."

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