GHAZANFAR ABBAS | Caravan Daily
ALLAHABAD — Outraged by the BJP government of Uttar Pradesh over its apathetical attitude towards the rape cases, a residential colony in Allahabad has banned the entry of politicians belonging to the saffron brigade. The move comes in response to the lax attitude of the government to take action against its own MLA Kuldip Singh Sengar, who has been accused of raping a minor in UP and also for its inaction against the BJP politicians who had openly supported the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old child in Kathua district of Jammu.
Residents of Shivkuti colony put out a banner inside their colony stating – ‘Entry of politicians and members of BJP is prohibited’ as a mark of protest against the sharp rise in the number of rapes and violence against women.
Unnao gang rape case and Govt’s inaction
This rape case became public on April 8, when the 18-year-old victim tried to immolate herself outside the residence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the government’s inaction in delivering justice in her case. Unnao’s sitting MLA Sengar and his aides, belonging to BJP are the prime accused in this case. Adding to the gravity of the case was the death of the victim’s father, who had been taken into police custody and was brutally beaten by MLA’s brother and the police. Even then no concrete action was taken by the state police to arrest Sengar. It was only after Allahabad High Court’s notice issued to the Yogi Government on Friday ordering to arrest him that Sengar has been arrested and sent for seven-day CBI custody.
CBI had filed three FIRs – rape of the minor and her father’s death in police custody, on Thursday evening. In the first FIR, the CBI named Sengar and Shashi Singh, a woman who allegedly took the victim to the Bharatiya Janata Party leader’s house. The second FIR is against four of Sengar’s accomplices — Vineet, Baua, Shailu and Sonu. They have been charged of rioting, criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt. The third is against Sengar’s brother Atul Singh, who claimed that he was attacked by the victim’s father. Singh is currently in judicial custody.
Defending his colleague Kuldeep Singh Sengar, Surendra Singh, BJP MLA from Bairia maintained that it is not possible for any man to rape a mother of three children.
“I am speaking from psychological point of view. No one can rape a mother of three children. It is not possible. This is a conspiracy against him (Kuldeep Sengar). Yes, maybe her father was thrashed by some men but I refuse to believe the rape charge,” Surendra Singh was quoted as saying by ANI.
His comment highlights the patriarchal mindset and biases that society in general holds. National Commission of Women (NCW) also issued a notice to him for his statement.
Kathua rape-murder case and BJP’s Role Aftermath
In January, an eight-year-old girl from nomadic tribe in Jammu went missing after she went to graze her horses in Rassana forest in Kathua. A week later, her mutilated body was discovered in the forest. Investigations revealed that the girl had been held captive in a temple, where she was repeatedly gang-raped after being sedated. The investigation also revealed that the child had also been starved.
A huge uproar was witnessed when the investigating agency tried filing the charge sheet. Two BJP ministers Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, reportedly had attended a rally held in Kathua district, organised by the Hindu Ekta Munch, last month, in support of the seven accused in the ghastly rape-and-murder case. This sparked a heated agitation, leading to an overwhelming public demonstration and condemnation by the opposition parties, which forced the ministers to resign from the Jammu and Kashmir government led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Adding on to the controversy was BJP’s president Nandkumar Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh, who indicated a possible Pakistan involvement in the Kathua rape-murde.
The silence of high profile female ministers of BJP – Foreign Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Information and Broadcasting and Textiles minister, Smriti Zubin Irani has been deafening so far. A late comment from Prime Minister Narendra Modi concerning the two rape cases, has been much condemned on social media. After several public protests PM Modi broke his silence on Friday and called termed the incidents as ‘Shameful’.
“Such incidents in any part of the country or a state shake humanity. I want to assure the country that no culprit will escape. Justice will be done and it will be complete justice. The daughters will get justice. We all will have to join hands and remove this evil from the society,” PM Modi had said.