The anger swept across the nation after a 8-year-old minor child was raped at Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir and another minor was raped in Unnao (Uttar Pradesh).
People are pouring their anger on social media as well as on the road.
Here are the top developments from yesterday and today:
1. Rahul’s midnight march:
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi led a midnight candlelight march to India Gate in the national capital to protest the Kathua and Unnao rape cases with the party leaders alleging that the daughters of the country were not safe in the Narendra Modi regime.
Rahul was joined by his sister Priyanka and her husband Robert Vadra as well as scores of Congress leaders, party workers and students. During the march, Priyanka rebuked the unruly crowd, saying people should “at least respect the cause” for which they had come together.
“Nobody will push each other,” said a visibly miffed Priyanka.
“You should all know the reason for which you have gathered here. If you cannot behave, go home. Now, all of you will silently walk,” she said.
2. Unnao rape accused MLA finally arrested:
Hours after this protest by Congress leaders, the CBI – at 4:30 am this morning – detained Unnao gang rape-accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar.
3. Maneka Gandhi deeply disturbed:
Maneka Gandhi said that she intends to ask for the death penalty for those who rape children below 12 years of age. “Am deeply, deeply disturbed by the rape case in Kathua, and all the recent rape cases. I and the ministry intend to bring an amendment to the POCSO Act asking for the death penalty for the rape of children below 12 years of age,” said Maneka. POCSO is the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
4. Kathua rape victim’s father demanded death penalty for culprits:
The 8-year-old’s father Muhammad Yusuf Pujwala too today called for the death penalty. “I miss my daughter every day. Those responsible for killing my daughter should be hanged till death,” said Pujwala.
5. Supreme Court bench takes suo moto cognisance of Kathua rape case:
The Supreme Court (SC) said today it will, of its own accord, examine the horrific Kathua rape incident, provided advocates presented the facts of the case to the court in writing. In Delhi, a clutch of lawyers who practice in the SC, requested an SC bench take suo moto cognisance of the horrific incident. The lawyers said they would put together the facts of the case in writing for the SC.
8. Today, J&K’s director general of police SP Vaid said nothing could be worse than the Kathua gangrape-murder. “It is a very heinous crime, it can’t get worse than this. The Special Investigation Team has done a very professional job and filed chargesheet, now we hope justice will be done,” said Vaid
9. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is in power in J&K along with the BJP, has directed all its ministers, legislators and senior leaders to be present for a special meeting tomorrow in Srinagar at 11 am, likely to discuss the Kathua incident.
Stern action to be taken against those guilty, says Irani:
Union minister Smriti Irani today said stern action will be taken against those found guilty in the Unnao rape case.
“I appeal to the people to have faith in the legal process…stern action will be taken as per the provisions of the Constitution against those responsible (for the incident),” she told reporters here.
“The CBI is investigating the matter…our government is with the victim’s family,” the Union Information and Broadcasting minister, who arrived here this morning on a two-day Amethi visit, said.
AIADMK, Haasan express anguish over Kathua incident”:
The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) expressed anguish over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl at Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir.
Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, also the AIADMK’s coordinator, described women as the “eyes of the country” and sought strong punishment for those behind the crime.
The sexual assault on the girl and her death was “shocking and distressing”, he said.
“Crimes against girl children are against mankind. Those who did this heinous crime should be given strong punishment,” he said on Twitter.
“Everyone should realise women are the eyes of the country and should uphold womanhood by preventing occurrence of such crimes,” Panneerselvam said.
Haasan, founder-president of the MNM, expressed anguish over the incident, saying he felt “angry” for failing her.
“Does it have to be your own daughter for you to understand? She could’ve been mine,” he tweeted.
Haasan said he felt “angry” as a man, father and as a citizen for “failing” the minor girl.
“I am sorry my child. We didn’t make this country safe enough for you. I’ll fight for justice at least for future kids like you. We mourn you and won’t forget you,” he said.