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Rahul asks PM Modi when justice will be delivered in Kathua, Unnao rape cases

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at an event in Delhi he wants to “assure the nation that no criminal will be spared” and justice will be delivered to its daughters.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2018 10:11 IST
Rahul Gandhi,Narendra Modi,Unnao Kathua Rape
In a tweet late Friday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for breaking his silence on the Kathua and Unnao rape cases.(PTI)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi said “India wants to know” when its daughters will get justice as he ‘thanked’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday for breaking his “long silence” on the Kathua and Unnao rape cases.

Gandhi’s tweet came soon after Modi said at an event in Delhi he wants to “assure the nation that no criminal will be spared” and justice will be delivered to its daughters, a statement seen as a reference to the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl in UP’s Unnao and of an 8-year-old girl in J&K’s Kathua.

Earlier on Friday, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said Modi has done “too little, too late” over the two rape cases, but he said his party hoped the prime minister would now initiate tangible steps to provide justice to the victims.

Singhvi said the two incidents cannot be termed “normal cases” and these cases have shamed the nation. He also accused the BJP of viewing the cases through the “prism of religion” and demanded the sacking of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

“We are very thankful to the prime minister that he has spoken at least, even if he spoke after three months of Kathua and after weeks of Unnao and even if he has spoken at the beck and call of opposition parties like us.”

“But at least he has spoken. I wish he will now convert his words to deeds. We want him to take some serious action,” Singhvi added.

“I wish he will now convert his words into deeds... We want that the prime minister should initiate some steps. What matters is deeds count, words do not,” he told reporters.

“Mere slogans and ‘jumlas’ will neither prevent nor reduce Unnaos and Kathuas,” he said.

The Congress reaction also came after several BJP leaders hit out at the opposition parties for “shedding crocodile tears” on the issue of safety of women.

In the Kathua case, the rape victim had disappeared from near her house on January 10. A week later, her body was found in the same area.

A Special Investigation Team of Crime Branch, formed to probe the incident, has arrested eight people, including two special police officers (SPOs) and a head constable and a sub-inspector, who were charged with destroying evidence.

In the Unnao case, a BJP lawmaker has been booked on various charges, including rape. Kuldeep Singh Sengar, MLA from Bangarmau constituency, was arrested by the CBI on Friday.

Singhvi also alleged that the mentality and approach of the government, the BJP, the RSS and Modi was anti-Dalit.

The Congress leader said the BJP can inaugurate as many memorials as they like, “but the fact is that they are reducing sub-plans, financial allocations”.

“You are robbing them of their scholarships, you are participating in conspiracies to dilute their reservations and then you are shedding crocodile tears in the name of Dalits,” he said.

On the Prime Minister saying Congress didn’t give Babasaheb Ambedkar due respect and also didn’t confer Bharat Ratna on him, Singhvi said: “Any attempt to rewrite, reinvent and erase history will not work.”

“Ambedkar was part of Congress movement. He had healthy positive differences of opinion on policy matters. But he was a part of the freedom movement with the Congress. He was a minister in Nehru’s cabinet. He was respected person. No one has done more in the name of Babasaheb and the Dalits then Congress has,” he said.

“Do you know about RSS’ views on Baba Saheb and the Dalits, their attitude towards reservation. They even made fun of Baba Saheb. Now, they are trying to turn over a new leaf and become crusaders for Dalits.”

He criticised BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi for defending two Jammu and Kashmir ministers, who had joined a rally against the police probe in the Kathua case.

“I strongly condemn the party, which sees even rape on religious and class lines. The person, the party and the government that look at rape through the prism of class and religion have to be criticised,” he said.

On Twitter, the Congress said: “BJP’s MP Meenakshi Lekhi’s insensitive remark is an insult to Indian citizens standing up for their rights. Her statement reflects her party’s regressive ideology. She must take back her words and apologise immediately.”

Singhvi demanded the sacking of Jammu and Kashmir Forest Minister Lal Singh and Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga, who he alleged instigated the protests in Jammu in support of the accused.

First Published: Apr 14, 2018 10:00 IST