Pune city on Thursday saw multiple protests against the alleged gangrape and torture of a 19-year old Dalit woman, who later succumbed to her injuries, by four upper caste men in Hathras village of Uttar Pradesh. The incident has triggered outrage and protests across India.
Member organisations of the Stree Mukti Andolan Sampark Samiti organised a demonstration to protest the incident, and demanded justice and compensation for the victim’s family.
The demonstration was addressed by Kiran Moghe and Medha Patkar, among others. They condemned the incident and called for a wide unity to challenge the combined forces of “caste hegemony, communalism and money power that were combining to commit unspeakable crimes against women, Dalits, Adivasis, minorities, peasants and workers”.
Moghe said they would continue to protest even though they might be “charged with sedition” for this action.
The city unit of the Congress also took to the streets to protest the Hathras incident, and the detention of senior leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra while they were on their way to meet the victim’s family on Thursday.
Led by city president Ramesh Bagawe, party members carried out a demonstration at Rani Laxmibhai Chowk on Jangli Maharaj Road.
“The BJP government in Uttar Pradesh failed to respond to the crime against the Dalit woman… the government in UP should be dismissed and President’s rule should be enforced in the state due to failure of the government in stopping crimes against Dalits,” said Bagwe.
“The silence of Prime minister Narendra Modi on the Hathras incident is raising many questions. He should dismiss the government in Uttar Pradesh,” said Congress leader Ulhas Bagul, adding that the way Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was manhandled by police “on the instructions of the government” needs to be condemned.
The city unit of the NCP also took out a candle march on Thursday evening from Khandojibaba chowk to Good Luck chowk in Deccan.
City NCP chief Chetan Tupe, who participated in the protest, said it was to condemn the Union government and UP government over the “increased atrocities and killing of Dalits in the Modi regime”.
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