The country witnessed a groundswell of support and sympathy for the rape victims of Kathua in Jammu and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, cornering the ruling NDA on the issue even as both the state governments assured of bringing the guilty to book.
Opposition leaders, members of civil society & intelligentsia joined together to condemn the two rape incidents and demanded severe punishment for the “blood curdling barbarism” which have sent shockwaves across the country. In New Delhi, activists of various women and student organisations, stage a demonstration over crimes against women.
An eight-year-old girl’s body was recovered from Rassana forest in Kathua district of Jammu on January 17, a week after she went missing while grazing horses in the forest area. She was held captive inside a temple, and was sedated before being raped and murdered.
In Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, a case involving the alleged gang rape of a girl by a BJP legislator and others, and the death of her father in police custody, has come to light. The BJP is in power in both the states.
In a Twitter post, Javed Akhtar said all “those who wish justice for women should stand up and raise their voices against the rapists and their protectors in Unnao and Kathua”.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said “how could anyone protect the culprits” in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir and deplored letting politics interfere in such “unimaginable brutality”. “How can anyone protect the culprits of such evil? What happened to Asifa at Kathua is a crime against humanity. It cannot go unpunished,” he said in a tweet.
“What have we become if we allow politics to interfere with such unimaginable brutality perpetrated on an innocent child,” he asked.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said there would be no obstruction of justice in the rape and murder case of the girl. Her tweet comes after the Jammu Bar Association staged protests against the handling of the case by the Jammu and Kashmir Police Crime Branch. It has also demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.
Earlier, similar assurance was given by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi on the rape case in Unnao and custody death of the victim’s father.