New Delhi, 14, April: The Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), Muhammad Salim Engineer, in a statement to the media regarding the Unnao and Kathua rape cases said: ‘’ we condemn the gruesome rape and murder of 8 year old girl Asifa from Jammu and Kashmir. We also express our outrage at the alleged rape of the girl from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh at the hands of an MLA from the ruling party. The custodial death of the Unnao rape victim’s father is a very serious crime and needs to be investigated properly. Both the crimes have stirred the soul of the nation and we stand in solidarity with the protests and condemnations emanating from various justice loving people and civil society groups who are demanding swift justice for Asifa and the Unnao rape victim.’’
Salim Engineer continued: ‘’ we express deep anguish and are saddened by the gruesome manner in which Asifa was incarcerated, tortured, raped and killed in a premeditated manner in a place of worship. Reports suggest that this heinous crime was committed to sending a chilling message to the nomadic community she belonged to – that they are not welcome in the area dominated by the majority community. This tactic for carrying out ethnic cleansing has been used earlier too in Muzaffarnagar and against tribals in various states. What is also worrying is that certain groups tried to shield the perpetrators of Asifa’s rape by invoking nationalism and playing the victim card’’.
The JIH Secretary General said: ’’ the Unnao rape case is also very tragic for the nation and to happen under the administration that claims to be the vanguard of the ‘girl child’’ is indeed shameful. Even more appalling is that the alleged rapist is a lawmaker from the ruling party who repeatedly tried to evade arrest and intimidate the rape victim through different ways. The most horrendous act in the Unnao rape case has been the custodial death of the victim’s father as he ran from pillar to post to seek justice for his daughter. Jamaat feels that sanctity of life is paramount and those guilty of violating this sanctity must be awarded the highest punishment through the due process of law. If the guilty go unpunished as has been the trend in the recent past then people will start losing faith in the supremacy of law and it will embolden the lumpen and anti-social elements of society to commit more crimes. This will destroy the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.’’