The details of what happened to an eight-year-old girl, Asifa Bano, in Indian administered Kashmir, are all over media now. However, it is shameful that reports of the brutal gang rape and murder that happened in January come to fore in April. Such a long silence and almost no protest for bringing the people involved to justice exposes the moral bankruptcy of the world. Asifa’s fate symbolises the fate of Kashmiri people who are living under an illegal regime that is constructed to coerce, suppress and terrorise. The question that needs to be asked is why does the immense human suffering of Kashmir occupy such an imperceptible place in the moral imagination of the world?

The response of the police in not complying with the requests of Asifa’s family is not new. Every case of disappearance, torture or rape in the valley receives the same response.

The fault lines in Indian democracy and its justice system appeared grotesquely when right-wing nationalists took a rally in support of the accused ones. No other words can better explain what it means to live under India’s rule than those of a Kashmiri activist, Mir Laieeq, who comments on Indian flags being waved in the rallies of the right-wing nationalists demanding the release of the accused, “Indian flag has always represented devastation, massacres, rapes, torture and maiming in Kashmir… The flag has not been brought into disrepute, but its true colours are now clearly visible…” And the attendance of the rally by two ministers from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) makes it hard to believe that Indian criminal justice system would punish the culprits. Advocate Deepika Singh, who is pursuing the case, is facing death threats and social boycott.

The manner in which India runs the affairs in Kashmir is killing the essence of democracy in the “largest democracy”. If the Indian state attempts to protect the accused ones or tries to rely on delaying tactics will be nothing but attestation to the legal maxim, “Justice delayed is justice denied”.