Dubai: Protests are being held across the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India after news broke of the rape of a three-year-old girl.
On social media channels, the hashtag #JusticeForAimanZehra went viral, with people expressing disgust and horror at the crime and demanding justice. While media reports provided different number for the age of the accused, Tahir Ashraf Mir, protests erupted after he submitted documents to prove he is underage. Underage convicts are tried in India’s juvenile courts and handed lenient sentences.
Sharing pictures from protests being organised, tweep @muftifatoomi wrote: “The 27-year-old man who raped three-year-old Aiman has provided officials with a fake birth certificate, allowing him to be tried as a minor and avoid major punishment. Kashmiri civilians are flooding the streets in protest, despite the government shutdown. #JusticeForAimanZehra”
A disturbing video of the girl, spitting blood and shaking in pain was also shared by several social media users. However, many social media users urged tweeps to not share the child’s picture or video.
Tweep @Priyyaa_x wrote: “A three-year-old girl raped by a 27-year-old man? I’m disgusted. Can these monsters not control their sexual desires? 3 YEARS OLD. That’s a child. She was coughing blood. She had bruised eyes. That’s a traumatic experience that will stay with her forever.#JusticeForAimanZehra”
Many social media users also expressed anger at victim shaming that happens after rape cases, or excuses that are provided to protect perpetrators of such crimes.
Tweep @syedsamreen21 wrote: “Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because someone RAPED them. I’m talking about ‘women’, but today, on my land, it’s about a little innocent child. #JusticeForAimanZehra”
Another Twitter user @shigra_ wrote: “3 year olds? 6 month olds? 8 year olds? How many more till your conscience awakens? Rapists should be stoned to death by the public openly. Type ‘hashtag(#) justice’ and see for yourself how many poor souls still yearn for justice.”
Mir provided a letter from the Islamic Educational Trust, Jammu and Kashmir, which stated his date of birth making him 19 years old.
Tweep @mehdizafar wrote: “Social media is flooded with posts about a despicable crime committed by a 20-year-old man against a three-year-old girl in Kashmir. And here a self-proclaimed religious organisation is trying to shield the culprit by showing him as minor. Shame! JusticeForAimanZehra”