Women’s organizations protest at Jantar Mantar against the brutal gang-rape and murder of Dalit girl in Hathras, UP!
Demand resignation of CM Yogi and his government!
Demand action under SC ST Atrocities Act against all erring police officers!!
Today, a large demonstration by women’s organizations was held at Jantar Mantar, where slogans resonated against the mishandling of the case of rape and murder of a 19-year old Dalit girl in Hathras (U.P.), the lax police investigation in this case, the growing incidence of caste-based sexual violence unleashed on Dalit women, the overall trend of rising crimes against women across the country, the marked apathy of the state in matters of casteist gender violence and the hollowness of the current regime’s claims of defending women’s rights and dignity.
Last week Hathras became the epitome of sexual crimes against women when a Dalit girl was brutally gang-raped, mutilated and strangled eventually resulting in her death. The heinous crime has triggered a spate of protests all over the country. Women’s organizations in Delhi too have risen in rage, especially in the context when an apathetic police administration cremated the body of the victim in the absence of the girl’s family. The veiled threats issued by UP officials to the girl’s family for speaking to the media has further fueled agitation by women’s organizations. The large gathering of protesters at Jantar Mantar included women’s rights activists from All India Democratic Women’s Organization (AIDWA), All India Mahila Sanskritik Sangathan (AIMSS), Centre for Struggling Women (CSW), National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan (PMS), Purogami Mahila Sangathan (PMS), Swastik Mahila Samiti (SMS) and SAHELI. Notably, before reports of Hathras’ case reached Delhi, these women’s organizations had planned to use the occasion of 2nd October to gather in protest so as to draw attention to the Women’s Charter which has been submitted to the Delhi Lieutenant Governor and Delhi Chief Minister (CM). The Women’s Charter evolves around demands that are connected to the three essentials of Life, Livelihood, Democracy.
The struggle for “Life, Livelihood and Democracy”, which definitely includes women’s right to a life of dignity took a nasty turn when we found 2012 repeating itself in Hathras where yet another brutal gang-rape resulting in death of the victim. UP has been the hotbed of crimes against women, given the kind of politics the ruling dispensation pursues – a politics that breeds impunity and strengthens the pervasive rape culture. The state of UP, according to latest data of the National Crimes Records Bureau, tops the list of with high rates of crimes against women. This apart, the women’s organizations also pointed out that while the culture of rape and immunity is rampant in rural India, these also prevail in the heart of the country, I.e. the capital city of Delhi as well. There is need to question all governments, including the Delhi Government under CM Kejriwal, for their criminal negligence in the matter of crimes against women; which is well-reflected in their non-utilization of Nirbhaya Funds, etc.
In this context the women’s organizations demand the following:
We demand no less than the resignation of the present Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. And if he has lost all sense of probity the Central government should come forward to do the needful.
We also demad immediate suspension from office and booking of the IG (Police), Superintendent of Police, Ditrict Magistrate, and concerned SHO to be booked under the SC ST Atrocities Act for their high-handed manner in which they cremated the body of the 19-year Dalit woman.
We further demand speedy, fair, scientific investigation monitored by High Court into the issue in a time bound manner. The trial of the case must be shifted to Delhi.
We also demand an end to the rape culture currently prevailing in the country, more so in UP. To ensure the proper addressal of the given rape culture, we demand the proper utilization of the Nirbhaya Fund whose 90 per cent corpus still not utilized to this day; and the setting up of many more fast track courts across the country.
It is also our appeal that the Honourable High Court to constitute a high court monitored free fair scientific and a time bound investigation with extension of protection to witnesses and family members.
ISSUED BY: AIDWA, AIMSS, CSW, NFIW, PMS, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, SMS, and SAHELI.
October 2, 2020