Silent candle march seeking justice for Asifa

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 4/16/2018 2:23:24 PM

JAMMU, Apr 15: Concerned group of citizens from cross-section of society including activists, academics, professionals and students this evening took out a silent candle march from Ambedkar Statue Panama Chowk to Bahu Plaza demanding justice for Asifa.
Men, women and children, holding candles and blank placards, marched through the streets to protest against the obstruction of investigation by some groups and politicization and communalisation of the sexual violence. They demanded urgent action against the perpetrators who pre-planned and executed the heinous rape and murder of the minor.
“We are gathered here to protest against the brutal rape and murder of a young girl and the shocking cover-up. It is also time to ponder why it took us so long as a civil society to wake up and speak out; this puts a question mark on our existence as humans and reflection of us as society. This incident raises serious question like- Why it took us three months of long time to come out on the streets and act against crimes being commited against women,” Executive Editor and peace activist, Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, who was one of the participants of the march, said while addressing the gathering.
“Various tactics are being used to divide the society on religious basis and weaken the movement for justice. Shift in political discourse has led to people coming out in support of the accused and questioning the investigation. We must now begin the fight against sexual violence and fight for an atmosphere where women can come out with complaint without any fear of stigma, have confidence in law, fearing no bias in any case of crime against women,” she added.
Sanam Sutirath Wazir, an activist working with a Delhi based NGO, was one of the main organisers of the protest march. He said that “Asifa’s rape and murder is a test case to point out how women’s bodies are used as tools in war and conflict. It is a clear case of hate crime and of using sexual violence to divide people on communal lines. We must fight against such nefarious designs.”
Several other prominent people at the march included Prof. Rekha Chowdhry, Ellora Puri, Malvika Kalra and Kashmir Times Editor Prabodh Jamwal.



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