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The father of the 3 year old girl who was allegedly raped in north Kashmir’s Sumbal area of Bandipora district has said that the alleged rape was a crime against humanity.

According to The Print the father has said, “This is a crime against the entire humanity, and the last thing we want is to divide people on the issue of religion or sect,”

Adding that people should voice their opinion without violence “I am humbled that people protested but my request to them is to voice their opinion without violence.” he was quoted as saying by The Print

Quoting villagers The Print reported that the village is troubled by some people turning the tragedy into a sectarian issue, “A tragedy has hit our village and there are vested interests making it a sectarian issue,”Mohammad Manzoor, a local businessman in Malikpora told The Print.

“Shame on the people who are using the misery of a small girl to their benefit.”

Mohammad Shafi, another resident, almost broke down while pointing towards the toilet where the crime allegedly took place.

“Islam stands for justice and it must be delivered swiftly,” he added.

According to the report the accused and his family were described as a social menace.

Their alleged escapades with the law, mysterious lifestyle, history of violence and crime, and tendency to stay aloof, which is rare in Kashmir, are widely discussed in the village.

“The father of the accused was well-off at one point, but lost everything due to his gambling habits. Everything went downhill [from there],” Mohammad Ibrahim, a local farmer and a friend of the accused’s father told The Print.

“He sold one of his sons for Rs 5,000 to a family that wanted a male child. That family gave him a newborn girl in return, but the boy passed away, so they came to take their girl back. They had to pay another Rs 10,000,” he added.

Other villagers accused the sons of engaging in theft. “One day, he (the accused) returned home late with a bloodied face and claimed he had met with an accident but, as we probed further, we found he had been caught stealing, and thrashed,” said one villager.

Villagers told ThePrint that it was on their advice that the family had left Malikpora in light of the rape.

“After he was arrested, the villagers went to the family. They wanted to leave. We told them that no one will punish them for the crime of their son, but, with tempers running so high, it would be in their interest to leave,” said one of the residents. “They eventually did.”

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