Muslims of India have been feeling more vulnerable and insecure in the first four months of 2018 than ever before. Recent cases of failed justice for crimes committed against them have disheartened the Muslim community.
Even to outside observers, it is increasingly clear that Muslims are being ostracised and singled out and that state institutions are failing them in India.
Struggling for justice in Kathua
In January, an eight-year-old girl was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered in the Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. The girl was from the Bakarwal Muslim nomadic community. The eight men accused of participating in her abduction, assault and murder, on the other hand, are Hindus. The primary accused is a retired revenue official, while one of the others is a police officer.
When the girl’s body was discovered near a temple in the forest, almost a week after her disappearance, Bakarwals demanded a special inquiry. The court-monitored investigation revealed that her abduction, rape and murder were purposeful and preplanned. It indicated that the attack on the girl aimed to scare the Bakarwal community away from Kathua.