Mumbai marches to seek justice for ‘daughters’
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Mumbai marches to seek justice for ‘daughters’

Citizens hit the streets across the city, demand punishment for culprits in Kathua and Unnao cases

mumbai Updated: Apr 16, 2018 11:49 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Mumbaiites came out in large numbers and held a march on Sunday at Carter Road, Mumbai, to protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua near Jammu, and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh.(SATISH atish Bate/HT Photo)

Mumbaiites hit the streets on Sunday evening raising slogans and demanding death sentence for the accused in the Unnao and Kathua rape cases.

Sacheen Mehta, a resident of Matunga, led a silent protest march from Kings Circle, Matunga, to Dadar, which eventually culminated at Mahim dargah.

“I have a few Muslim women joining me at the protest too. Here, we aren’t talking about religion, though the religion factor has been spoken about throughout,” said Mehta, one of the organisers of the protest and a consultant at a construction company.

“ We want to convey a message that she was a daughter of India, and irrespective of religion, we demand justice for her,” he said.

Other areas in the city too witnessed protests.

“The politicians are doing nothing but shielding people affiliated to them. Such incidents keep on happening every now and then and police also doesn’t help the family. We do not want such a thing to happen in future,” said Shubham Thakur, a student from Powai, who led a protest in his area with his friends.

Those gathered for the protest at Carter Road, took out a bike rally after the protest ended.

Priti Punjabi, a resident of Bandra, came to the protest blindfolded. Punjabi, whose blindfold read, ‘Kanoon andha hain (The law is blind),” said she did so because her daughter was eve teased on Saturday.

“Agar beti bachegi nahi to beti padhegi kaise? (If the government can’t save our daughters, how will the daughter study),” said Punjabi, a social activist.

Celebrity hairstylist Sapna Bhavnani said, “This isn’t just a one-off incident, even now, while we are talking, someone would be getting raped. The only difference is two times the number of cases that take place are not reported. Is tackling the issue of black money more important than protecting girls?”

In the Kathua rape case, an eight-year-old girl was raped and murdered in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir. In the Unnao rape case, a BJP lawmaker is accused of raping a 17-year-old girl from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh.

Besides the protests, two online petitions have been started, one demanding justice for the victim in the Kathua case, which has garnered more than 14 lakh signatures. The other petition asks the Bar Council of India to suspend the lawyers supporting the accused in the case, which has collected signatures more than two-and-a-half lakh people.

Meanwhile, members of the Christian community were requested to wear black-coloured clothes for Sunday mass to condemn the two rape incidents.

First Published: Apr 16, 2018 00:38 IST