Written by Akanksha Budhiraja
City residents took out protest marches against the rape of an eight-year-old Bakherwal girl in Jammu, and the rape of a woman in Unnao, whose father died in police custody after being thrashed by supporters of her alleged rapist. The protesters demanded the shifting of the case to Chandigarh to ensure that the interests of justice were served.
On Sunday, Bekhauf Azadi, a group that stands against issues related to women and their oppression, led the protest at the Plaza, Sector 17, where people shared their experiences and fears regarding women safety and demanded justice for the victims of the cases in question.
Panjab University students also marched in protest from the university and joined the protest in Sector 17.
Amy Singh, a teacher and an organiser of Bekhauf Azadi, said the rapes had horrified the country. “Of late, it has become almost a trend to spot one-two reports of rapes and assault in the newspapers, all due to the heinous acts of people like the accused in this case. It sends chills down my spine. That is probably the reason why people today have gathered in such large numbers, that too for such a long duration. Citizens of Chandigarh have spoken out and made clear that we are not up for this! Hence, the call for May 10 protest because it is turning into an epidemic. Since the government will not take the responsibility for our and our kids’ safety, we will,” she said.
Advocate Navkiran, one of the speakers, expressed his distress at the way lawyers had tried to obstruct the presentation of the chargesheet in the Kathua court. “The incident is barbaric and the way it has been communalised is even more bizarre. The fact that people who have pledged to help prevail justice are standing against an 8-year-old and supporting the accused.”