New shocking details of an alleged brutal gang rape and murder of an eight-year old girl have emerged. Asifa Bano was allegedly abused for days before she was drugged, strangled and stoned to death inside a Hindu temple in Kashmir, India, in January.
So far eight Hindu males – including four police officers, a retired government official and a child – have been arrested over the brutal gang rape and murder of the Muslim girl. Officers believe the suspects may have been trying to force a Muslim nomad tribe the girl belonged to from Jammu because of a land dispute.
A police charge sheet reportedly claimed retired government official Sanji Ram, 60, made his nephew kidnap the girl ‘who often came to the forests behind their house for grazing her horses’. The report added: ‘On January 10, the juvenile saw the girl asking about her horses. ‘He told her that, he had seen her horses and led her to the jungle.
‘Sensing some trouble, Asifa Bano tried to flee but the juvenile caught her by her neck and covered her mouth with one of his hands as she fell on the ground. ‘The victim fell unconscious and was raped by the juvenile (in the jungle). ‘[Another man] joined in and raped her again. ‘They took her to the temple and kept her inside a prayer hall under the table, covering her with the plastic mats. ‘[The accused] opened the prayer hall and again sedated the girl by pushing sedatives into her mouth and forced her to drink water subsequently. ‘On January 11 the juvenile informed another accused about the kidnapping of the girl telephonically and asked him to return from Meerut in case he wanted to join them for fun.’
Asifa Bano’s family had reported her missing to the police after she disappeared from a village 45 miles east of Jammu city on January 10. Her father, Muhammad Yusuf Pujwala said the police were not helpful, and claimed one of them said Asifa must have ‘eloped’ with a boy.
Asifa Bano was found dead five days later in a wooded area in Kathua city. The murder has led to demonstrations across India, with hundreds of thousands people calling for justice for the Asifa. The incident has caused tension between Hindus and Muslims, with the attack seen as religiously motivated.