New Delhi: The Kashmir valley was up in arms on Sunday following a child abuse case that surfaced on Saturday, where a three-year-old girl was allegedly raped in a school bathroom by a local youth from her village.

The incident is reported to have happened on Thursday evening in Malikpora village.

Reportedly, the three-year-old was lured with sweets and gums by a 27-year-old, who has now been identified (name withheld) and under the custody of the police.

WHAT HAPPENED

On early Thursday evening, the girl was returning from a nearby mosque in her neighbourhood after accompanying her uncle who had gone there for the evening prayers.

While walking back, she was stopped by the youth, who offered her gums that he had just bought from a local shop. The child accepted the sweets as the boy was known to her, reports suggest.

He then took her to an empty government school building at the time when most of the people in the village were either offering evening prayers or having Iftar.

After some time, the shopkeeper who had sold those sweets to the accused, saw him roaming in the streets, while the child’s mother was frantically looking for her.

The three-year-old’s family had by then raised an alarm and launched a search for her in the village and nearby areas.

After some time, a woman informed the mother of a kid, whose cries have been heard from a nearby government school.

When the mother of the three-year-old called out her name in the complex, she got a response from her wailing child. Picking her up from the bathroom cubicle, she saw her trousers pulled down and at first mistook her daughter to have wet her pants.

The mother rushed her child to home, where she narrated the series of events.

The child’s parents then went out to look for the accused, who was found loitering around the same shop that evening and apprehended by the locals.

The police has now arrested the man and a special investigating team has been constituted to probe the case.

Meanwhile, widespread protests were held in as many as 12 places in the Valley.

Several people took to streets, demanding instant justice. Some sources suggest that the mother of the three-year-old has demanded death penalty for the accused.

The child is reported to have gone in shock and breaks into tears sporadically. She is believed to have trouble walking now.

The shopkeeper who sold those chewing gums to the accused said that he also sold him some sachets of shampoo, which locals say were found from the same bathroom.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani said, “such incidents are a black stain on our social fabric and rich culture.”

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti too took to Twitter and expressed her anguish.

Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq appealed for peace and tweeted:

And further said, “Appeal all to maintain calm and introspect while demanding stern punishment and speedy justice for the victim.”