Aghast and Ashamed : The Horror of Kathua and Unnao Rape Cases

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When Nirbhaya was brutally raped on the night of 16th of December, India had awakened to demand justice for the torture meted out to her. We had stood up in solidarity demanding stringer punishments for the accused and amendments in penal laws. Our candle marches, prayer meetings and protests led to the conviction of the accused and we assumed that everything was sorted now. Little did we know that this horrific incident was just a prologue to gory and cold blooded rapes all over India.

Kathua and Unnao are such spine-chilling instances. An 8-year old girl was allegedly kidnapped, starved, sedated, raped and murdered in a temple to send a message to her community. The message was clear that the accused were beasts who killed a girl for their sadistic pleasure. Unnao rape victim was no luckier, her father was tortured in police custody and declared dead within 24 hours all because she wanted the name of the accused MLA to be added in her FIR.

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In both of the cases we see police officials involved in hushing up the gory offences. We see lawyers protesting the filing of the charge sheet. We see our Honourable ministers silent associating the matter with the party but shunning their responsibility as the government of India.

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With every such crime, we fail as a society. With every candle march, our faith in the administration in the state falters but we stay strong in the belief that justice will be done.

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Why is a protest necessary for filing of FIR, speedy investigation or trial? Isn’t that the right of the victim? Is it necessary for her to make her cries audible to the public for justice to be done? Why do we have the police, the investigating agencies and the courts then?

These are some raging questions which are haunting us Indians. We need answers to them not assurances. We have every right to know whether our institutions are capable of doing timely justice or not? They can’t bring back Asifa to life but they can try to protect other Asifa’s from predators lurking in the dark. They can ensure justice to the victims and their families and set strong precedents so that we don’t have to turn to streets and candles anymore looking for justice!

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