Shopian shuts on Asiya and Neelofar’s sixth death anniversary

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Srinagar:  A complete shutdown was observed in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday to commemorate the sixth death anniversaries of Aasiya Jan and Neelofar Akhtar, the duo allegedly ‘raped and murdered’ by unknown persons in 2009.

The Shopian rape and murder case surfaced after two sister-in-laws, Asiya (17) and Neelofar (22), went missing from their orchard on the way home on May 29, 2009. The next day morning, their bodies were found, both one kilometre apart, under mysterious circumstances.

The villagers alleged that both were raped and murdered by the security forces. A protest called up by a separatist leader turned violent and the administration declared a curfew-like situation lasting for over 47 days.

All the shops and business establishments remained closed while traffic was off the roads. The family members of slain women staged a peaceful sit near Jamia Masjid Shopian seeking justice.

“It has been six years and still the killers and rapists are roaming free. Mehbooba Mufti the then opposition leader and now part of government had then rejected the government’s inquiry commission into the case in state assembly, and called upon the then prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to review the performance of the state’s ruling coalition personally. Where is she now and why she is not constituting a commission to probe the incident,” the brother of Aasiya and the husband of Neelofar Jan, Shakeel Ahmed told CNS.

He said that People’s Democratic Party made the twin murder and rape case as poll plank in 2014 Assembly Elections. “This party raised Aasiya and Neelofar issue everywhere in Shopian constituency and even it offered mandate to Advocate Muhammad Yousuf Bhat whom CBI had made an accused in the case. People voted for this party with a hope that it will review and reopen this case, but so far the party has not uttered a single word in this regard,” he said adding that instead of exposing the rapists and killers, the security agencies have been harassing the family members.

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