Mumbai: Thousands of people from all across the country took to the streets on April 15 to protest against the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and the rape of a 17-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao.
Over the last few weeks, India has been constantly witnessing brutality across all quarters, in a nation which is perhaps still healing from the wounds of 2012 Delhi gangrape case, where a medical student was brutally raped and killed in a moving bus.
Protests are being held in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, and Bhopal and among other cities. The outrage has been palpable from Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh as well as Nagaland.
The spine-chilling murder-rape case in Jammu and Kashmir once again united the nation to fight crimes being committed against women. On January 10 of this year, an 8-yr-old girl, who hailed from a Muslim Nomadic tribe who were residing in Kathua, had taken her horses to graze in the forests around her home, but did not return. Later, her father filed an FIR for the missing girl.
The girl’s body was found on January 17 and was sent for post-mortem. Later, the case was transferred to Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir police. A chargesheet was filed against eight people for the rape and murder of the minor which included a police officer.
The nation fumed after the brutality of the crime described in the chargesheet was made public. The details included her drugging, starvation and repeated gangrape at the hands of a group of men who finally bashed her head with a stone, murdering her. The chargesheet also revealed that one of the accused – a police officer- had asked the killer to wait so he could rape the child one last time.
The other case refers to the rape of 17-yr-old girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao, in which the main accused is the BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar. The case came to light when the victim tried to commit suicide outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence.
Delhi saw several protests being carried out by various groups across the city.
A protester in Delhi’s Parliament Street, Amrit Khatri however felt that the outcry lacked impact. He said, “The protest wasn’t that successful or impactful because different groups were agitating at different places. Though the people were united for the same cause but weren’t protesting together due to which the intensity to take on the government wasn’t accomplished.”
Khatri added that sacking ministers isn’t a solution. Though it isn’t the first case of rape, but blaming government is also not a solution. Like for instance, Nirbhaya case or Mumbai terror attack, the culprits got punished according to the Indian law but this doesn’t mean that rape or terror is dead from the roots.
We need to unite together to find a solution to end such brutal crimes against women and children.
In Unnao rape case, it was evident that the government was reluctant as it was trying to shield the accused as he belonged to the party which is ruling the state.
Government needs to look beyond their political agenda and work for the welfare of the society. In Kathua rape case, instead of making a Hindu-Muslim agenda, political parties need to come together, ensure that nothing like this will ever happen and set an example for the society.
Kawalpreet Kaur, DU AISA President, who was one of the leading protestors at Parliament Street, said, “The major anguish in people is about the government inaction on Kathua rape case. The ministers, administration of the country are very well aware about the situation but still they are not taking any action on it.”