New Delhi April 13, 2018,
The horrifying gangrapes of two minor girls, one in J&K’s Kathua and the other in UP’s Unnao, have weighed heavy on the citizenry this week. Actually neither case is recent, and that it has taken so long for them to get national attention only underlines how difficult the fight for justice still remains for rape victims even five years after passage of the Nirbhaya legislation – particularly when the accused enjoy political power or patronage.
In the Unnao case the rape survivor’s father has died in police custody while the accused is a BJP MLA. In Kathua the accused have been shielded in communal colours by Hindu Ekta Manch and others.
Taking lonely lead for his party, Union minister VK Singh has joined his voice to the national outrage. He said, “We have failed Asifa as humans. But she will not be denied justice.” Rahul Gandhi echoed the sentiment but demanded accountability from the government yesterday at a midnight candlelight march in Delhi.
The long-delayed charge sheet in the Kathua case indicates that eight-year-old Asifa was held in a captivity in a temple, raped by six men, and then bludgeoned to death. Such a barbaric crime should indeed unite everyone in pained humanity. But the opposite has happened in the polarized polity of J&K.
Stop playing politics with rapes, murders. It is also a deep perversion of religion to shelter such crimes with godly slogans. Stop this. The cry of a daughter should bring the entire society to her aid, instead of first identifying her community.( TOI )