Unnao and Kathua rape cases: Congress leaders take to the streets, Bollywood lashes out with 'I am Hindustan, I am ashamed' campaign

Congress leaders across India came together for candlelight marches in major cities and towns to protest against the Kathua and Unnao rape cases which have sparked nationwide outrage for their sheer brutality and the raw nexus they have exposed between our society's powerbrokers.

A four time BJP MLA from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh Kuldeep Singh Sengar is prime accused in the gang rape of a young local woman and the custodial death of the victim's father just days ago. In Kashmir's Kathua, an 8 year old was raped, tortured and killed by many men in a bid to settle communal scores.

Politicians and common folk from across the country took to the streets demanding the death penalty for child rapists, protection for women and swift justice in the Kathua and Unnao cases. Film actors lashed out with an "I am Hindustan, I am ashamed" campaign on social media with stark notes scrawled with Sharpies on sheets of white paper.

"Yet again we've failed as a society. Can't think straight as more chilling details emerge...her innocent face refuses to leave me. Justice must be served, hard and fast!", Akshay Kumar tweeted.

Unnao and Kathua rape cases: Congress leaders take to the streets, Bollywood lashes out with I am Hindustan, I am ashamed campaign

Protests across India have demanded exemplary punishment for the culprits of Kathua rape and murder. Reuters

Top developments:

By Friday evening, prime accused in the Unnao rape case Kuldeep Singh Sengar was arrested by the CBI based on an Allahabad high court order. Sengar will be produced before a local CBI court Saturday. The CBI has registered three separate cases in connection with the alleged gang rape of an 18-year-old by Bangarmau MLA Sengar and associates.

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misrah has decided to examine the Kathua rape and murder case.

Two BJP ministers Chandra Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh resigned from the Jammu and Kashmir cabinet Friday. Only last month, both attended a rally in support of the prime accused in the rape, torture and murder of an 8-year-old.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence Friday, saying justice will be served and culprits will be punished. "We are all ashamed", he said.

BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi came in for severe criticism after these comments at a press gaggle:"You see their (Congress') plan: first shout 'minority, minority', then 'Dalit, Dalit' and now 'women women' and then try to somehow fix blame of state issues on the Centre. All this while ignoring the strict action being taken by state governments."

Union minister Maneka Gandhi said that her ministry will bring an amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on death penalty for rape of children below 12 years of age, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has assured that that her government will bring a "new law" on the same lines.

Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal began an indefinite hunger strike demanding the death penalty within six months for those who rape minors.

On Thursday, at around midnight, Congress president Rahul Gandhi led a midnight march to India Gate in New Delhi to protest against the two rape cases. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra and thousands of Congress workers criticized the ruling BJP government for "shielding brutality".

In Kerala, the outrage against the Unnao and Kathua rape cases is pouring out in billboards and political marketing material painting the BJP as a party that preys on women.

In the same state, Kotak Mahindra Bank sacked an employee who posted hate speech on social media against the Kathua rape victim.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Apr 14, 2018 03:31:21 IST

Also See