A day after a video of a girl student in Barabanki questioning a senior UP Police officer over women’s security in the wake of Unnao rape victim’s accident went viral, the parents of the girl did not send her to school, fearing for her safety.
The parents of the Class XI girl said that they will meet the school principal on Monday, and only after that, they will decide on when to send her to school again.
“She is naive and young. Whatever she reads in newspapers and watches on television, she said it. She speaks well and the rest of the school children prodded her,” said the girl’s father.
In the viral video, Additional Superintendent of Police (North) Ram Sewak Gautam is heard telling girl students attending a Balika Suraksha Jaagruktaa Abhiyaan programme at a school to stay alert and immediately call up the toll-free number if they feel anything wrong is being done to them. To this, the student stands up and asks the officer in Hindi, “If the person is a common citizen, then we can protest. But if he is a political leader, a powerful person, then how can we protest against him? When we know that even if we protest against such a high-profile person, still no action will be taken against him. We saw that Unnao girl is in hospital. So if we protest, what is the guarantee that we will get justice? What is the guarantee that we will be safe? What is the guarantee that nothing will happen to us?”
As she questions the police officer, students are seen applauding her.
Stunned by the girl’s question, the officer is heard saying, “All complainants to toll-free number would be provided help.”
As the video went viral, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra posted a news clip of it and hit out at the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. “If some influential person does something wrong, then will our voices against him would be heard? This is the question raised by a student during girl’; awareness rally in Barabanki. This question is in the minds of every woman and girl in Uttar Pradesh. Answer BJP?) tweeted Priyanka in Hindi.
Expressing concern for her safety now, the girl’s father said that they were not informed about any such event in the school.
“First of all, parents were not informed about any such event in the school. Even if there was something of that sort, then the privacy of the child should have been respected…” her father told The Indian Express.
“We have not sent her to school today and would not send her to school on Friday as well. I would first speak to the Principal on Monday. I have only one daughter and do not want her to land in any trouble for speaking her mind out in open,” he added.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Additional SP Gautam said that the girl had asked him a “hypothetical question”. “She is a student and had put up a hypothetical question, but we still tried to assure her that police are committed to protecting people…”
The school principal, however, could not be contacted despite several attempts.