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8-year-old Muslim girl kidnapped and gang-raped in India, outrage sparks as many try to defend the rapists

by Murtaza Nasir

[NOTE: The following article contains graphic content.]

Outrage has sparked in India as the horrific details of an 8-year-old girl’s gang-rape have been released. 

The Muslim Indian girl, Asifa Bano, was grazing her horse in the green fields in the India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, when a Hindu man followed and kidnapped her.

Muslim Girl

The 8-year-old was raped again and again. (Image source: Twitter)

With a friend’s help, the kidnapper took the little girl to the nearby Hindu temple and sedated her with sleeping pills. According to the local police, the girl was held in the temple for the next three days, where the kidnapper and his friends repeatedly raped her.

According to the BBC, Asifa was then hit on the head and strangled to death.

Muslim Girl

She was kidnapped while grazing horse in the town of Jammu and Kashmir. (Image source: Twitter)

The bruised body of little Bano was found in a forest near the city of Kathua. According to the police, there were 8 people involved in the horrific incident. All of them have been identified as belonging to the Hindu religion, while the little girl was a Muslim. This has given rise to debate that religious hate might have been involved in the act.

Muslim Girl

She was held in the temple for eight days. (Image source: Twitter)

Reportedly, the accused’s motive was to kick Asifa’s nomadic tribe out of the area. Two of the accusers are police officers, who were bribed with amounts equal to thousands of dollars.

Muslim Girl

People are calling the government to take stern action against the accusers. (Image source: Twitter)

Muslim Girl

There is nationwide protest against the horrific crime. (Image source: Twitter)

Talking to the BBC, Asifa’s mother stated that she, along with her husband, rushed towards the forest when they heard of their beloved girl’s body found there.

“She had been tortured. Her legs were broken. Her nails had turned black and there were blue and red marks on her arm and fingers,” she said.

Muslim Girl

All the accusers are from Hindu religion. (Image source: Twitter)

Shockingly, Hindu nationalists have been carrying out rallies not in the support of Asifa, but for the accusers. This has raised religious tension in the country. According to the Hindu nationalists, some of the investigators in the police are Muslims and they can’t be trusted; since Asifa was a Muslim, they believe the police are bound to be biased.

Muslim Girl

Protestors are asking for Muslim policemen to be removed from the case. (Image source: Twitter)

Hindus are protesting in Kathua. Women have blocked the roads and are on hunger strikes. According to The New York Times, one of the protesters, Bimla Devi, said, “They are against our religion. If the accusers are not released, we will burn ourselves.’’

The New York Times further reported that the police has matched the DNA of the accusers, and they did indeed rape Asifa. Despite this, protesters continue to speak in their support.

However, there are many campaigning for Asifa too. Many on Twitter are joining the hashtag #JusticForAsifa. People from all parts of the world, including the Bollywood fraternity, have raised voices against the cruelty.

The opposition party Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, led a candlelight march in the capital of India on Thursday night. There are several planned protests to be held in New Delhi over the weekend.

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