Members of Save Family Foundation (SFF), an organisation claiming to fight for men’s rights, will protest at Jantar Mantar on Saturday demanding revocation of Section 498A (related to harassment of women for dowry) of the Indian Penal Code.
The group is expecting participation of more than 5,000 people from 60 men’s rights groups across India. Members have termed the protest a “satyagraha for men” to mount pressure on government and bring a change in laws.
Members of the organisation provide free legal and psychological assistance to people who feel they have been falsely implicated under cases of dowry and harassment. Its active members have been booked once for dowry, faced trials, suffered punishment and later acquitted.
SFF activists said they have been fighting since 2005 and no change has been made to the law due to which men are committing suicide at an alarming rate.
Addressing mediapersons in Noida, SFF member Amit Lakhani said the protest would be held to demand scrapping of Section 498A of IPC that has been termed ‘legal terrorism’ by the Supreme Court.
“Laws in India are gender-biased and we will demand that they be made gender neutral to bring equality for men. The government should also introduce a clause of punishment for misuse of existing laws,” he said.
Lakhani also added that over 90,000 men commit suicide every year and over four lakh are arrested, of which most are falsely implicated. He added that men do not have the right to prove their innocence and their trial begins once a complaint is registered.
“Crime has no gender and a change in laws is the need of the hour. There are cases where a husband and wife have not fought over dowry, but cases are registered under this act (498A). Men’s voices go unheard and by the time the courts acquit them, their lives are almost finished,” said Vitesh Agarwal, another activist.