Prominent names from across the country expressed their anger at the gang-rape of an 8-year-old in Kathua in Jammu-Kashmir, the horrific details of which emerged on Wednesday night and shook the nation’s conscience.

From tennis star Sania Mirza to Bollywood icon Farhan Akhtar, everyone condemned the rape and murder of the child. They also vociferously objected to the manner in which a section of the society was defending the accused by giving the case a communal spin.

“Is this really the kind of country we we want to be known as to the world today ?? If we can’t stand up now for this 8 year old girl regardless of our gender,caste,colour or religion then we don’t stand for anything in this world.. not even humanity.. makes me sick to the stomach,” wrote Sania Mirza on Twitter.

 

“Justice needs to be done … for the sake of keeping our faith in the judiciary and the system alive .. I really hope and pray justice is done .. and soon..” she posted in a second tweet directed at the Unnao rape case in which an FIR was registered against BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar after pressure mounted on the state government.

 

“Imagine what goes through the mind of an 8 yr old as she is drugged, held captive, gang raped over days and then murdered,” wrote Akhtar, who is the son of lyricist Javed Akhtar.

“If you don’t feel her terror, you are not human,” he wrote, adding, “If you don’t demand — get justice, you belong to nothing.”

“Ashamed appalled and disgusted by fake nationals and fake Hindus. I cannot believe this is happening in my country,” Sonam Kapoor slammed the groups which played the ‘Hindu’ card to allegedly defend the accused.

 

Riteish Deshmukh urged people to “Stand up for what is right even if you are standing alone” to protest the alleged rapes in Kathua and Unnao.

 

Richa Chadha had the strongest words reserved for those defending the alleged rapists.

“LET THE WORLD KNOW WE DEFEND OUR RAPISTS,we commit atrocities in places of worship and desecrate the Flag. Thank God international press isn’t for sale.Hopefully bad PR may get the administration to act?Also,a woman as a CM is such a poor joke @mehbooba.Aisi bhi kya alliance ?” she wrote.

“The act was performed in a temple. If you are a Hindu and you hold your faith dear, HOW ARE YOU NOT OUTRAGED BY THIS?” Chadha wrote while retweeting another tweet in which the place of the crime was reported.

 


Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti led alliance government of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come under fire for the manner in which the case is being handled.

A charge sheet filed by the J-K Police describes in detail the manner in which six men allegedly raped the 8-year-old girl.

The men held the girl in captivity in a small village temple in Kathua district for a week in January. She was kept sedated and sexually assaulted once again before she was bludgeoned to death, reveals the charge sheet in the case.

The girl was from the Bakherwal community – a minority nomadic community who are traditionally shepherds.

The 15-page charge sheet says that the alleged rapists had planned the crime to put fear in the minority nomadic community and force them out of the area.

The police have charged Sanji Ram, the caretaker of a small temple in Rassana village in Kathua, as the main conspirator behind the abduction, rape and killing. Other accused in the case are two special police officers, Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, Ram’s nephew, who is a juvenile, and his son Vishal Jangotra alias Shamma.

The charge sheet also names investigating officers, head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.

All the eight accused are under arrest.

The crime

The 8-year-old had gone missing on 10 January while grazing horses in the forest. Investigators said the accused abducted the girl on the pretext of helping her find her horses.

The day after their daughter went missing, the parents went to the Devisthan and asked Ram about her whereabouts. He said she may have gone to a relative’s house. According to the charge sheet, the accused gave the girl sedatives to make her unconscious while holding her in captivity.

Lawyers in Jammu had on Wednesday struck work in support of the accused.

(With inputs from agencies.)