Na­tion­wide protests de­mand jus­tice for Kathua, Un­nao rape vic­tims

Financial Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - FC BU­REAU

MAS­SIVE protests have erupted in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try to de­mand jus­tice for vic­tims of Kathua, Un­nao and other rape cases. The protestors are also ask­ing the gov­ern­ment to cre­ate a safer en­vi­ron­ment for women in the coun­try.

Protestors car­ry­ing ban­ners and plac­ards, marched the streets of Delhi, Mum­bai, Thiru­vanan­th­pu­ram, Goa, Ahmedabad, Su­rat, Ben­galuru, Chen­nai, Kolkata, Mo­rad­abad and other cities, de­mand­ing that gov­ern­ment quickly pros­e­cute rape sus­pects. Can­dle­light vig­ils were also held in some places. A silent protest in Mum­bai was joined by Bol­ly­wood celebs and oth­ers. In Delhi, protests were held un­der “Not In My Name” cam­paign. Sev­eral Mus­lim or­ag­ni­sa­tions joined protests by school and madarsa stu­dents in cities in Gu­jarat.

Mean­while the tri­als in the grue­some Kathua rape and mur­der case be­gin to­mor­row against eight ac­cused who al­legedly held an 8-year-old girl in cap­tiv­ity in a small vil­lage tem­ple in Kathua dis­trict for a week in Jan­uary this year dur­ing which she was kept se­dated and sex­u­ally as­saulted be­fore be­ing blud­geoned to death. The ac­cused in­clude a ju­ve­nile.

The chief ju­di­cial mag­is­trate of Kathua will be com­mit­ting one of the charge sheets, in which seven peo­ple have been named, to the ses­sions court for trial as man­dated un­der the law. The chief ju­di­cial mag­is­trate will, how­ever, hold the trial for the ju­ve­nile as it is the des­ig­nated court un­der the ju­ve­nile act.

The J&K gov­ern­ment has ap­pointed two spe­cial pub­lic pros­e­cu­tors, both Sikhs, for the trial in the sen­si­tive case, a move be­ing seen as made to en­sure “neu­tral­ity” in view of Hindu-Mus­lim po­lar­i­sa­tion over the case. The trial is ex­pected to go smoothly af­ter the Jammu Bar As­so­ci­a­tion as well as the Kathua Bar re­ceived a rap on the kuck­les by the Supreme Court on April 13 as the apex court took a strong note of some lawyers ob­struct­ing the ju­di­cial process in the case.

The Supreme Court ini­ti­ated a case on its own record say­ing such im­ped­i­ment “af­fects the dis­pen­sa­tion of jus­tice and would amount to ob­struc­tion of ac­cess to jus­tice”. The crime branch will also be hand­ing over the no­tices is­sued to the Jammu Bar Coun­cil as well as Kathua Bar Coun­cil for ap­pear­ing be­fore the Supreme Court on April 19.

The Bar As­so­ci­a­tion of Kathua has al­ready re­tracted from its ear­lier state­ment of pro­vid­ing le­gal as­sis­tance free of cost to the ac­cused and said af­ter go­ing through the charge sheet pre­sented by the crime branch (against the ac­cused in the court of Chief Ju­di­cial Mag­is­trate on April 9) it is re­vealed that the al­le­ga­tions against the ac­cused per­sons are very grave and as such this case is to be dealt with in a pro­fes­sional way. The Jammu Bar As­so­ci­a­tion at­tempted to put a brave face say­ing they had full faith in the SC and that their main de­mand was for shift­ing of il­le­gally set­tled Ro­hingyas.

Mo­rad­abad

Ahmedabad

Chen­nai

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