Editorial : Crime in Kathua

The 15-page chargesheet filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Crime Branch on theabduction(अपहरण), rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district is chilling. An unspeakably horrific(भयानक/ डरावना) crime has been overlain(ढँकी) with an ugly form of communal(सांप्रदायिक/सार्वजनिक) politics, which has heightened the feeling of vulnerability(आलोचनीयता) among the Bakherwal nomadic community. Asifa Bano had been missing in Rasana village since January 10. On January 17, her mutilated body was found, bearing the marks of gang rape.
This week, local lawyers tried to prevent(स्र्कावट डालना/निवारण करना) the police from filing the chargesheet, and the Jammu High Court Bar Association called for a bandh on Wednesday demanding that the investigation be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. By all accounts, the demand owes less to any faith in CBI impartiality(निष्पक्षता), and more to the ongoing attempt to influence(प्रभाव/असर) the police’s investigation that has led to the arrest of eight men, including some policemen charged with destroying evidence. The chargesheet lists as the main conspirator(षड्यंत्रकारी) the caretaker of the temple in Rasana where Asifa was allegedly(कथित तौर पर) held, and threads together the sequence of events. The insinuation(कटाक्ष/उकसावा) that a local police force that reflects the multi-religious composition of the State cannot be entrusted(सौंपा गया/न्यासित) with a case in which the victim is a Muslim and the alleged accused are Hindus must be strongly resisted.
It is a shame that the State government, a coalition of the J&K Peoples Democratic Party and the BJP, has been so feeble(कमज़ोर/मंद) in criticising(आलोचना करना/निंदा करना) the sectarian(सांप्रदायिक/विशेष सम्बन्धी) undercurrents(अंतर्क्रियाओं). Protests in Kathua have been going on for months, amidst allegations(आरोपों/इलज़ाम) that innocent people are being framed and demands that one of the arrested police officers be released. An organisation called the Hindu Ekta Manch too populated the protests and two BJP ministers from the State government were present at a rally in support of the accused. The Gujjar-Bakherwal community’s sense of isolation(अलग करना), as the dead eight-year-old is sought to be defined by her ethnic(जातीय) and religious identity, is especially heightened given the backdrop of drives to evict them from what they say are their traditional camping sites in forests. One line of inquiry is that the motive for her abduction and assault was to instil fear among the nomads in pressing for their rights to the forests and commons. But while it is understandable that the nomads are feeling the brunt(आघात/चोट) of the intimidation(डराना-धमकाना) and it is vital to address their larger anxieties(चिंताओं/सोच), to superimpose(ऊपर रखना/मिलाना) the crime on the tussle over forest rights would be to diminish(कम करना/अपमानित करना) the brutality(निर्दयता/पशुता) brought upon the little girl. The investigation must be pursued for the hate crime it is. It does not just tie in with her community’s rights — along with the Unnao rape case in U.P., in which the victim’s father died in police custody this week, it shows how loaded the system is against those seeking justice.
Important Vocabulary
Synonyms: accomplice, collaborator, plotter, traitor, betraye
2.Horrific(भयानक/ डरावना)
Synonyms: abominable, appalling, awful, cruel, disgusting
Antonyms: attractive, beautiful, delightful, gentle, good
Synonyms: innuendo, hint, suggestion, veiled remark
Synonyms: equality, fairness, neutrality, probity, justice
Antonyms: unfairness
5.Entrusted(सौंपा गया/न्यासित)
Synonyms: allocate, assign, authorize, commend, commit
Antonyms: deny, hold, keep, retain, withhold
6.Sectarian(सांप्रदायिक/विशेष सम्बन्धी)
Synonyms: factional, parochial, partisan, dissident, doctrinaire
Antonyms: conforming, broad, broad, -minded, liberal, nonsectarian
Synonyms: burden, force, impact, pressure, shock
Antonyms: ease, peace, relaxation
Synonyms: atrocity, barbarism, barbarity, cruelty, inhumanity
Antonyms: kindness, gentleness, humaneness, niceness
Synonyms: coercion, frightening, browbeating, cowing, daunting
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