Rafeeza Bano, Asifa’s 55-year-old mother, recalls the horror she saw on her dead daughter’s body. “There were scars on her cheeks. Her lips had turned black and her eyes had bulged out. It was a scary scene for a mother to see. She was my youngest child. It was horrific. She had faced a lot of barbarity.”
The mother now fears for her two surviving daughters, one of them aged 13. “They did this with an eight-year-old girl, imagine what they can do with a 13-year-old,” she said.
A retired government official, his son who came from another city to “satisfy his lust”, the juvenile nephew and his close friend, and the special police officer were all part of the conspiracy and crime to kidnap, rape and killing of the eight-year-old girl, according to the police report. Three police officers were involved in destroying the evidence. The incident, which initially appeared to draw a reluctant outrage, however, snowballed into a major crisis for India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the horrifying details and motives of the rape and killing came into public domain.
The fact that it took three months and the exposure of horrific details for the outrage to build against the rape and killing of the girl, who was just eight-years-old, has already instilled fear among the Muslim nomads. Defying threats and abuses, a female lawyer has embarked on an arduous journey to provide justice to Asifa Bano.
Deepika Singh Rajawat is appearing in occupied Kashmir High Court on behalf of the victim’s parents seeking a court-monitored investigation into the rape and murder of Asifa. The paper said, Rajawat, who is also the chairperson Voice For Rights, an NGO working for the protection of Human Rights, had to face threats and verbal abuse by fellow lawyers prompting her to write to the chief justice of occupied Kashmir High Court to ensure her safety and security in the court.