Angry students, social activists and organizations took to the streets of Bangalore to protest against the inactivity of police and the government in the Unnao and Kathua cases.
At least 150 furious protesters gathered at the Mysore Bank Circle in Bangalore to protest the government’s failure to provide justice to the 18-year-old and the 8-year-old rape victims in the Unnao and Kathua rape cases.
Raising their placards, they shouted ‘Rapist Nethas down down’, ‘Justice for Asifa’, ‘we want justice.’ The protestors also burnt an effigy representing ‘Rapist Nethas’.The Unnao and Kathua rape cases have led to widespread outrage across the country. Protesters included members of the All India Democratic Students’ organization (AIDSO), All India Democratic Youth Organization (AIDYO) and All India Mahila Samskrutika Sanghatane (AIMSS)
Previously, protests had broken out in Mumbai’s Azad Maidan, and in Delhi. The latter was led by Rahul Gandhi. Another in Srinagar- was led by former JNU vice-president of the students union (JNUSU), Shehla Rashid.
“Asifa was starved, drugged & gang raped in a temple. How can this even be overlooked? We have to come together for this cause. Children and women deserve security across the country,” said a member of All India Mahila Samskrutika Sanghatane.
‘We are not only raising slogans and placards; we are raising our voices against the inefficient government that hasn’t done anything to bring justice to the rape victims. The rapists should be punished immediately”, said, a student member of AIDSO.
Pavitra, AIMSS, said, “What did the rapists think? They will get away with raping an 8-year-old because she belongs to a poor minority family? The Nethas think they can give it a communal angle and save the accused?”
Vinay, student of Central College, said, “The government has forgotten the student outrage during Nirbhaya’s time; we took over the streets and were ready to die. Water cannons don’t scare us anymore. We shut educational institutions and this time we will not sit back.”
“Bangalore has gone to the dogs too; it is not any less when it comes to crimes towards women and children. People mainly migrate here for their safety but I don’t think the city is any safer now. If we don’t raise our voices, the police and the government will do nothing,” said N Ravi, All India Anti-imperialist Forum.
Meanwhile, in a press conference held at Bangalore Press Club, the former Police Commissioner, P Kodandaramaiah took a dig at the North Indian police force in reference to the Unnao and Kathua incident.
He said, “The police force in North India is the most incapable force. They have to consult the BJP even before filing an FIR.”
Assistant Sub Inspector, M Baylappa, Karnataka State Reserve Police, said, “The city has to buckle up for more protests, the KSRP has kept the team updated about the situation. We will be covering Freedom Park protests at 6 P.M today because we realise the intensity of the protest.”
The Allahabad High Court has directed CBI to arrest BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in the Unnao rape case whereas Asifa’s family has left for an unknown place along with their livestock.
Inputs from: Sanjana Raina and Diyali Banerjee