Following online threats of rape and murder, 20-year-old DU student Gurmehar Kaur, who took on the ABVP over last week’s violence at North Campus, Monday met Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal and lodged a complaint. Talking to The Indian Express, Kaur said, “Ever since I posted that picture, I have been getting rape, gangrape and murder threats from various people on social media. It is scary when one gets such blatant threats, but I am not scared.”
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“The obscene language used in some social media messages is extremely upsetting not only for the person who it is directed at but for every woman in this country. These people call it their patriotism by abusing and threatening the daughter of a martyr? Is insulting a woman their nationalism? I am being targeted because I raised the point of innocents being assaulted,” she said.
“My father took a bullet for the country… I will take a bullet for my country. I am not afraid of these threats as I come from a family that served the nation for generations,” she said. Kaur returned to her home in Jalandhar on Monday so she could be with her family. Maliwal, who held a 30-minute meeting with her at the DCW office earlier in the day, said the student had submitted a one-page complaint to the commission and six screenshots of threats issued to her on social media.
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“She raised her voice against hooliganism of ABVP but we don’t know if the men who threatened her on social media are from ABVP or not. This has to be investigated. She has not named any ABVP leader in her complaint. I have spoken to the Delhi Police commissioner. An FIR has to be registered and she also needs police protection,” Maliwal said. Maliwal later tweeted that Kaur was being guarded by Home Guards from DCW. A DCW official said of the 10 Home Guards deployed at the DCW, two were now protecting Kaur until she gets police protection.
“We don’t think she did anything ‘anti-national’. Kaur did not say anything wrong and even if she had, nobody can dare to issue threats of rape and murder. The DCW will stand by her,” Maliwal added. In a letter to Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik, Maliwal wrote, “It is unfortunate that a strong and independent girl is being threatened and abused for taking a stand against hooligans. It is perturbing that the threats appear to have the silent support of some celebrities and leaders as well.”
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Special Commissioner of Police (southwestern range) Dependra Pathak said they have not received any letter directly from Kaur demanding security. “We have received a complaint from the DCW. We are examining it on a priority basis and will take action,” said Pathak.