Scores of people took to streets on Sunday protesting over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district and the rape of a 17-year-old girl in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar. Condemning the government response in the two cases, protesters demanded swift trial and strict punishment for the culprits.
In Mumbai, protests were held in Bandra's Carter Road, Juhu as well as Mira Road suburb with a large number of children, well as adults, thronging the streets. Protesters carried placards and raised slogans demanding justice for the eight-year-old girl in Kathua who was raped and murder in a temple. They also condemned groups trying to communalise the case.
Various civil society groups sent invites on social media asking people to unite and demand justice for the two girls. Protests were held at Parliament Street in New Delhi where people gathered under the banner of NotInMyName against increasing incidents of rape and atrocities on Dalits and minorities.
Though several of these protests were launched by civil society groups, political parties like Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress were also present. ANI reported that people had organised similar protest marches in Moradabad.
Protests were held in Gujarat too, amid reports that another minor was raped and murdered in Surat. According to The Times of India, hundreds thronged the streets in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, and Junagadh and demanded swift action by the government. Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, which is led by Hardik Patel, held a candlelight march in Nikol area of Ahmedabad.
"Residents of Dhabgarvad locality in Ahmedabad held a protest march at which children displayed placards, expressing outrage over the Kathua incident. A group of young girls sought justice for the Unnao rape survivor as well," the report said.
Several similar protests have been organised over the past week to demand justice to the victims of the two cases. The protestors demanded immediate dismissal of the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly shielding his party legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar, accused of raping a 17-year-old girl who had gone to his residence seeking a job.
After the matter came to light when the victim tried to immolate herself outside Adityanath's residence in Lucknow on 8 April alleging police inaction for nearly a year, criticism against the state government has mounted.
On 9 April, her father died in judicial custody, with the autopsy report suggesting serious injuries on his body. The case has been handed over to the CBI and Sengar was on Saturday sent into a seven-day custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Apr 16, 2018 09:23:19 IST