Rape of toddler sparks protests, clashes in Indian Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir Police has arrested the accused and protesters are demanding stringent punishment

Protests erupted at scores of places in the Kashmir Valley on Monday as outrage over the rape of a three-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora district.

Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) had been set up to fast-track the probe.

Choudhary said the school principal had been detained for questioning to ascertain the circumstances under which he had issued the certificate.

The police has arrested the accused, who has been identified as 20-year-old Tahir Ahmad of Mir, a auto mechanic. Protest rallies were taken out by students in south Kashmir as well.

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Divisional commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan released a video appealing for calm.

"Deeply disturbed by the shocking heinous crime committed on a 3 year old child in Sumbal".

Kashmiri women participate in a protestagainst the alleged rape of a 3 year old girl from north Kashmir at Mirgund, outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Monday, May 13, 2019.

Declaring the certificate fake, police said the accused is not a juvenile. The Srinagar-Baramulla stretch of the National Highway-44 was blocked at several places and stones were thrown at both private vehicles and those carrying security forces. What kind of a sick pervert would do this?

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Reports said that the residents of over a dozen villages of Bandipore's Sumbal area on Sunday took to the streets to demand exemplary punishment to the accused.

Political parties across the spectrum have demanded "exemplary punishment" for the accused and completion of investigations at the earliest.

Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal tweeted that the "horrific" rape is "another brutal reminder of humanitarian nightmare in IOK [Jammu and Kashmir]". "Times like these, Shariah law seems apt so that such paedophiles are stoned to death". "The rapist is among us, facilitators are among us, those who shield rapists they are among us, stalkers are among us, abusers are among us", bureaucrat turned politician Shah Faesal tweeted, demanding the justice for the minor rape victim.

Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani termed such incidents " a black stain on our social fabric and rich culture".

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In Badgam district, 20 youths were injured in clashes with the security forces. "The local police should be equipped and trained to deal with such gruesome incidents; besides that, it is expected of the governor administration to give economic support to the victim so that she rises on her feet again".

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