All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has demanded that all reported cases of rape and murder in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) from the past three decades should be reopened.
Mirwaiz appealed to human rights bodies to address mass rapes and murders of Kashmiri women with the same commitment shown in protests against the case of eight-year-old Asifa Bano.
The Muslim girl Asifa was kidnapped, sedated and gang-raped by eight men in a Hindu temple in occupied Kashmir.
Mirwaiz demanded that the culprits of Asifa should be brought to justice and that they should be punished in a way that deters such acts.
He further added that all cases of rape and murder that have taken place since the past three decades should be reopened and re-investigated.
The leader who has been under house arrest addressed a Friday sermon at the famous landmark site of the Jamia Masjid. He was allowed to address the gathering after two weeks during which he was detained.
Mirwaiz said that the brutal rape and murder of the minor from Kathua has shaken the entire world and cut through older wounds. He lamented that mass rapes have been seen in Kashmir and those perpetrators roam the streets freely.
The Kashmiri leader said incidents of rape and murder witnessed in the areas of Kunanposhpora, Chaksaidpora, Pazipora and Shopian are all examples of war crimes brazenly committed by armed forces in Kashmir.
He said that the forces that have been deployed in IOK since 1990’s have been using rape as a tactical tool to incite fear and to regress the freedom movement.
Mirwaiz said that Asifa’s rape and murder was a pre-meditated crime to drive out the Bakerwal community by instilling fear in them.
Taking a hit at the ruling regime, Mirwaiz spoke about how commonplace arrests of resistance leaders has become in IOK.
This article originally appeared in KashmirObserver.net