Mumbai demands death for Unao, Khatua accused; NCP chief Sharad Pawar attacks BJP govt
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Mumbai demands death for Unao, Khatua accused; NCP chief Sharad Pawar attacks BJP govt

mumbai Updated: Apr 13, 2018 23:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Protesters at Azad Maidan on Friday.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a mute spectator in the Kathua gang-rape case, they are defending the rape accused MLA in Unnao, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Friday.

The Kathua rape case, where an eight-year-old was abducted, gang-raped and murdered in a temple in a gruesome manner, has shocked the nation. Local residents, including two BJP ministers, were found protesting in support of the accused. “The caste or community of the accused does not matter. What is important is that an innocent girl faced this level of torture. The Centre must handle the matter with seriousness. One because the victim was a little girl and second because the incident took place in Kashmir Valley, where there is already unrest among people. Being a mute spectator can prove dangerous to the Centre,” Pawar said, demanding action by the Centre.

Commenting on the Unnao case, where the survivor’s father was found dead in mysterious circumstances, Pawar said, “So far, the government has taken no stern action in the case. This is worrisome. The case has shown the real face of the government. People now need to teach them a lesson.”

Mumbai demands death for rape accused

Fifteen citizens’ organisations, political parties and others held a rally at Azad Maidan on Friday, to demand death for the accused in Unnao and Khatua rape cases.

Among the participants were Centre for Promoting Democracy, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy, Bharat Bachao Andolan, Milli Council and Zero Tolerance.

Salim Alware, chairman of Muslim intellectual forum, said, “We are here to demand that a fast-track court be assigned to hear the cases, and a mass FIR be filed against lawyers in Jammu and Kashmir, who are defending the accused.”

City-based lawyer Abha Singh who joined the protests demanded stricter punishment for juveniles accused in such cases. “The conviction rate for rape accused in India is 28%. This can’t act as deterrent for criminals. We need stricter punishment for rapists.”

Political parties, including the Congress, NCP, and AAP joined the protests. Some citizens were disappointed with the poor turnout. Arun Iyer, assistant professor of philosophy from IIT-Bombay, said, “I came to show my solidarity with the victim. It soon turned out to be a general protest against the government. I expected more people to come out in support.”

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 23:50 IST