There has been an outpouring of anguish and outrage as people from across the country are coming to terms with the chilling details of the Kathua rape and murder case. The brutality inflicted on the eight year old Bakarwal girl by key accused Sanji Ram, a retired revenue official, his son Vishal Jangotra and nephew (believed to be a juvenile), has shaken the nation and many protests and demonstrations are taking place across India.
What has added to the outrage is the alleged connivance of policemen in concealing the crime and destroying evidence. So far eight people including Ram, Jangotra, the minor nephew, Special Police Officers (SPOs) Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, a Rasana resident Parvesh Kumar, Assistant Sub Inspector Anand Dutta and Head Constable Tilak Raj have been arrested in connection with the case. Police have also filed a detailed chargesheet despite strong protests from local lawyers. The Supreme Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the lawyers’ actions.
There is also outrage about how the Unnao rape case is being handled. The rape took place last year and while the accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar roamed free, the survivor’s father had been in police sutody since April 5. The survivor protested against this by attempting suicide outside UP Chief Minister Adityanath’s house. The very next day her father died in police custody.
Here are a few pictures of protests across the nation.
A midnight vigil was held at India Gate on the intervening night between April 12 and 13. It was a peaceful candlelight protest that saw hundreds of citizens as well as Congress leaders Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi. “This is not a political protest, this is a national matter. The government should be able to protect the dignity of women in this nation,” said Rahul Gandhi.
Candle light vigil at India Gate. Image by The First Mail
On Sunday April 15, yet another demonstration took place in New Delhi this time at Parliament Street.
Citizens of the ‘Maximum City’ came together at Azad Maidan on April 13 demanding justice for not just the minor tribal girl in the Kathua rape and murder case, but also the 16 year old survivor in the Unnao rape case and her father who was allegedly brutally beaten by the brother of her rapist and died while in police custody. These are some images from the protest spot.
Citizens of Mumbai gathered once again on April 15 at Bandra’s Carter Road, this time in larger numbers expressing anger and frustration at the manner in which the sexual violence epidemic was spreading in the country.
There was another peaceful protest in Vikhroli.
Protests also took place in Mira Road in Thane district, north of Mumbai.
Students For Change (SFC) organized a candle march inside IIT-BHU campus on 13th April 2018 against both the Kathua and Unnao . With candles in their hands, students marched from Limbdi corner via GSMC, DG corner and back to Limbdi Corner raising slogans demanding justice of victims. Children from Gyaan Udyaan (GU) took active part in the march with self made posters in their hands.
Workers at the Bhilai Steel Plant held a candle light vigil for the little girl killed in Kathua and the Unnao rape survivor.
A peaceful protest also took place in Chandigarh where Varnica Kundu, a stalking and sexual harassment survivor joined the demonstrations.
There are more protests planned in not just Mumbai and New Delhi, but also other parts of the country including Lucknow, Srinagar and Bangalore. We will update this story with more information and pictures. Watch this space.