Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament and All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) general secretary Brinda Karat has said the Centre should intervene and act against those accused of atrocities against women in Mangalore.
Karat, in Mumbai for the AIDWA state committee meeting, said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka had failed to act in the case of assault on girls in a local pub and the abduction of a college student who was travelling with a Muslim man.
“The Mangalore incident is a blot on the democratic system of the country,” said Karat. “These elements should have been proscribed under the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act and, since [that state’s] government has refused to act, the Centre should act within the Constitutional framework.”
AIDWA held protests in Karnataka over the two incidents.
It has also taken up the incident of atrocities against two Dalit girls in Beed district in Maharashtra on January 19.
The girls were assaulted for protesting against taunts by upper-caste youngsters.
“Only four of the 12 accused have been arrested. There is an atmosphere of terror in the village,” sad Kiran Moghe, president of AIDWA’s Maharashtra chapter. “Even after Khairlanji, the Maharashtra government seems to be dragging its feet.”
Four Dalits from the same family — a woman, her 17-year-old daughter and two sons, one partially blind — were butchered in Khairlanji in 2006, in full view of the villagers and their bodies dumped in a canal after they filed a police case following a dispute with upper caste villagers.
Karat pointed out the even in the Khairlanji case, the Central Bureau of Investigation was yet to file an appeal against the acquittal of some of the accused.
“Even while the United Progressive Alliance has sent the women’s reservation bill to cold storage, the Hindutva right is mobilising against women’s rights and minorities,” she said.
Karat said atrocities against women would be among the major issues during the polls.