The arrest of a law student from Shajahanpur who had accused former Union Minister Swami Chinmayanad of rape has sparked outrage among the women’s group and gender studies students in Delhi. Calling out for justice, students from various colleges staged a protest against Chinmayanand at Jantar Mantar on Saturday.
The 23-year old law student was booked a month after she accused the 72-year-old of rape for allegedly blackmailing and trying to extort Rs 5 crore from him.
All India Women’s Democratic Association vice-president S Puniavata said the victim, in this case, has been victimised and the rape accused is being protected. “All we are asking from the government is to stop protecting Chinmayanad and release the rape survivor from jail. How fair it is that a woman is shamed and character assassinated for the crimes committed against her,” she added.
Gender studies student from Jamia Millia Islamia Rekha Singh called this incident a pattern followed by the system. “This is not the first time that BJP government has protected rape victims. The same happened in Kathua rape case well and I don’t understand this pattern or coincidence of saving the accused. This has to end and we will be protesting on roads till there’s action being taken,” said Singh.
The woman was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police after a case was filed against her by Chinmayanand’s lawyer. She was sent to 14-day judicial custody on September 24. Asserting that his daughter was arrested to put pressure on her and her family to stop pursuing the case, the father of the woman earlier said that police had little evidence against her and alleged that police were trying to “save” Chinmayanand.
The student’s testimony was key to the arrest of Chinmayanand. Her arrest puts a question mark on the case itself.
“We are protesting against the patriarchal structure, we are voicing out against the misuse of power and authority. The accused is not even charged of rape yet despite the woman giving her testimony and proofs. What kind of investigation is this,” asked Chaitali Pant of Jamia.
Jaydeep of People’s Democratic Student’s Union( PDSU) and a student of Delhi University said justice today is meant only for powerful people. “Those who have power and money, justice is for them. The SIT tried to manipulate the case and now the entire focus is on the extortion than the rape. I hope this cheap politics does not affect the girl and she stands for herself,” he added.
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