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Sedition charges against 51 including transgender activist for chanting pro-Sharjeel slogans

Organisers of the LGBT Pride solidarity meet where the slogans were raised have issued a statement dissociating themselves from those who raised the slogans

04 Feb 2020

Gay pride

Just days after a group of activists raised slogans supporting Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar Sharjeel Imam at the Mumbai LGBT Pride solidarity meet that was held at Azad Maidan on February 1, Mumbai Police have registered sedition charges against them.

The activists raised the slogan, “Sharjeel tere sapnon ko, hum manzil tak pahunchayenge,” (Sharjeel we will make your dream come true) at the Mumbai Pride which was turned into a solidarity meet instead of the annual Queer Azaadi March (QAM) or LGBT pride parade this year. Mumbai Police had earlier denied permission to conduct the parade on it usual route from August Kranti Maidan to Girgaum Chowpaty, after rumours were circulated via whatsapp that slogans could be raised against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the government, at the parade. The QAM organisers then agreed to hold a solidarity meet at Azad Maidan on the condition that all slogans raised will be related to queer concerns.

However, a group of activists got together and started chanting the allegedly seditious slogans. Sharjeel Imam, a JNU students had in a viral video made allegedly seditious statements against the integrity of India. He remains in custody of the Delhi Police.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Police have now filed charges against the activists chanting or-Sharjeel slogans under sections 124(A) (sedition), 153 (B) (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Transgender activist Urvashi Churawal has been named as a key accused in the case.

Police stepped up operations after both, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP leader Kirit Somaiya applied pressure. Somaiya had threatened to hold a protest if an FIR was not filed in the case. The QAM organisers have however, distanced themselves from the slogans. In an official statement released online QAM said, “We, Queer Azadi Mumbai (QAM), the organizing body of the Mumbai Pride Solidarity Gathering 2020, dissociate ourselves from and strongly condemn the radical slogans in support of Sharjeel and/or any other slogans against the integrity of India at the gathering on Feb 2 2020 at Azaad Maidaan, Mumbai.” They added, “It was irresponsible and potentially detrimental and none of the individuals raising these slogans were part of the organizing process or permissions process with us. These slogans, performances and protests happened abruptly and precipitously without the consent of the organizers.”

QAM insists that the slogans were raised at a distance from the main stage and that the organisers could not hear them clearly. The statement says, “However, as soon as the organizers realized that some sloganeering was inaudible on the stage, the organizers proactively used their microphones to stop all activities and clearly advised all the attendees that any sort of speech/slogan/communication within the gathering must happen from the stage and with official consent of the organizing members.”

 

Sedition charges against 51 including transgender activist for chanting pro-Sharjeel slogans

Organisers of the LGBT Pride solidarity meet where the slogans were raised have issued a statement dissociating themselves from those who raised the slogans

Gay pride

Just days after a group of activists raised slogans supporting Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar Sharjeel Imam at the Mumbai LGBT Pride solidarity meet that was held at Azad Maidan on February 1, Mumbai Police have registered sedition charges against them.

The activists raised the slogan, “Sharjeel tere sapnon ko, hum manzil tak pahunchayenge,” (Sharjeel we will make your dream come true) at the Mumbai Pride which was turned into a solidarity meet instead of the annual Queer Azaadi March (QAM) or LGBT pride parade this year. Mumbai Police had earlier denied permission to conduct the parade on it usual route from August Kranti Maidan to Girgaum Chowpaty, after rumours were circulated via whatsapp that slogans could be raised against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the government, at the parade. The QAM organisers then agreed to hold a solidarity meet at Azad Maidan on the condition that all slogans raised will be related to queer concerns.

However, a group of activists got together and started chanting the allegedly seditious slogans. Sharjeel Imam, a JNU students had in a viral video made allegedly seditious statements against the integrity of India. He remains in custody of the Delhi Police.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Police have now filed charges against the activists chanting or-Sharjeel slogans under sections 124(A) (sedition), 153 (B) (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Transgender activist Urvashi Churawal has been named as a key accused in the case.

Police stepped up operations after both, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP leader Kirit Somaiya applied pressure. Somaiya had threatened to hold a protest if an FIR was not filed in the case. The QAM organisers have however, distanced themselves from the slogans. In an official statement released online QAM said, “We, Queer Azadi Mumbai (QAM), the organizing body of the Mumbai Pride Solidarity Gathering 2020, dissociate ourselves from and strongly condemn the radical slogans in support of Sharjeel and/or any other slogans against the integrity of India at the gathering on Feb 2 2020 at Azaad Maidaan, Mumbai.” They added, “It was irresponsible and potentially detrimental and none of the individuals raising these slogans were part of the organizing process or permissions process with us. These slogans, performances and protests happened abruptly and precipitously without the consent of the organizers.”

QAM insists that the slogans were raised at a distance from the main stage and that the organisers could not hear them clearly. The statement says, “However, as soon as the organizers realized that some sloganeering was inaudible on the stage, the organizers proactively used their microphones to stop all activities and clearly advised all the attendees that any sort of speech/slogan/communication within the gathering must happen from the stage and with official consent of the organizing members.”

 

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Mumbai Pride: Thousands stand in solidarity against CAA, NPR-NRC

The Queer Azaadi Mumbai Pride 2020 witnessed thousands of Queer people and allies, assembled under the rainbow flag, raising slogans of equality, diversity and freedom. 

03 Feb 2020

LGBT

Holding placards that ranged from the amusing 'Hum bhi dekhen-gay' to the more straightforward 'citizenship rights are LGBTQ rights', the queer community exercised their democratic right to protest against the draconian Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the nationwide NPR-NRC, calling them 'anti-muslim', 'anti-transgender' and 'anti-queer'.

Speaking exclusively to SabrangIndia, Human rights activist Harish Iyer said, "LGBTQ people exist in the intersections of caste, religion, creed and regions. There're queer Muslims, there are trans Muslims and any issue that affects anybody, affects queer people too."

 

 
 
 

Mumbai Pride: Thousands stand in solidarity against CAA, NPR-NRC

The Queer Azaadi Mumbai Pride 2020 witnessed thousands of Queer people and allies, assembled under the rainbow flag, raising slogans of equality, diversity and freedom. 

LGBT

Holding placards that ranged from the amusing 'Hum bhi dekhen-gay' to the more straightforward 'citizenship rights are LGBTQ rights', the queer community exercised their democratic right to protest against the draconian Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the nationwide NPR-NRC, calling them 'anti-muslim', 'anti-transgender' and 'anti-queer'.

Speaking exclusively to SabrangIndia, Human rights activist Harish Iyer said, "LGBTQ people exist in the intersections of caste, religion, creed and regions. There're queer Muslims, there are trans Muslims and any issue that affects anybody, affects queer people too."

 

 
 
 

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I never felt anything about my daughter was ‘different’: Chitra Palekar

Parents of LGBT+ children have their own journey of acceptance and inspiration

01 Feb 2020

Chitra Palekar

Chitra Palekar is loved and admired unequivocally across India’s vibrant LGBTQIA+ community. The theatre veteran and author, was one of the first people to accept her lesbian daughter way back in 1993, inspiring many parents to do the same.

In a deeply gendered society, parents often get their first inkling of their child’s homosexuality when they notice decidedly campy behavioural traits. Therefore, most parents begin to suspect their son is gay if he displays feminine behaviour, or that their daughter is a lesbian if she like sporting short hair and masculine clothes. This is hugely problematic as it perpetuates unhealthy gender stereotypes. Luckily, Chitra was more intellectually evolved.

“I was also what some people would call ‘tomboyish’. I wore shorts, had short hair and played table tennis. So, when my daughter did the same, I had no reason to suspect she was a lesbian,” says Chitra. “She did not like toys, she picked up books, just like I used to. I did not ‘notice’ anything because there was nothing to ‘notice’ in my child’s behaviour,” she explains. “When my daughter came out to me, I accepted her instantly. What’s not to accept. I love my child,” she says.

Her daughter Shalmalee also helped Chitra gain greater understanding. “This was when there was no internet, so my daughter would give me books to read. I went a long way in helping me understand how natural it was for my daughter to feel the way she did,” she explains.

But Chitra’s real journey began after her daughter had moved abroad. “Back in the day, I had no real contact with any parents. I interacted with the kids at their meets and events where I gatecrashed,” she says. Chitra also interacted a lot with Vikram Doctor and Shobhana S. Kumar, who she credits with helping her chart and navigate her journey as a committed ally of the community.

“Vikram opened my eyes to so many things I could not see earlier. Shobhana hand held me through my journey, helping me understand correct terms, taking me to events, bringing me closer to members of the community,” says the septuagenarian who is still as enthusiastic as a seven-year-old. “I needed to learn the correct words so empathy does not disappear. I committed myself to empowering myself with all the correct information,” she says.

Gradually these interactions inspired Chitra to take the next step. “I was curious about the journey of other parents. Their experiences with their children coming out and how they dealt with family and social pressure afterwards. So, I got together with like minded people to chalk out a strategy to help them,” she says explaining the genesis of Sweekar: The Rainbow Parents.

Filmmaker Sridhar Rangayan and activist Harish Iyer were always keen on building a community of parents and creating a safe space for them to share their experiences and learn from each other. “I wanted this to actually mean something. One cannot have a superficial approach to something this serious, so discussions went on for months. There were psychologists, other experienced parents of queer children, such as Aruna Desai, Padma Vishwanath, Nilakshi Roy and many others committed to help scared, worried, anxious parents,” she says.

“We started by educating them about the correct terminology. So many people were confused about what is bisexual and what is intersex. We created a safe space and encouraged parents to ask questions without fear of judgment,” she says.

Chitra explains the objectives of Sweekar saying, “Sweekar is about support, acceptance and empowerment. We have made a conscious decision to never out a parent against their will. We maintain complete confidentiality,” she says.

On January 26, in the run up to the Queer Azaadi March, Sweekar held a parents’ meet where parents and their queer children narrated their stories. At this meet Chitra read out the Preamble, encouraging the audience to repeat the words after her. “I want to help the community integrate with society. So, it is important to make mainstream issues also relevant to the community. What better way to inculcate values of freedom, democracy and inclusion than to take the community through the vision of our founding fathers,” says Chitra.

 

I never felt anything about my daughter was ‘different’: Chitra Palekar

Parents of LGBT+ children have their own journey of acceptance and inspiration

Chitra Palekar

Chitra Palekar is loved and admired unequivocally across India’s vibrant LGBTQIA+ community. The theatre veteran and author, was one of the first people to accept her lesbian daughter way back in 1993, inspiring many parents to do the same.

In a deeply gendered society, parents often get their first inkling of their child’s homosexuality when they notice decidedly campy behavioural traits. Therefore, most parents begin to suspect their son is gay if he displays feminine behaviour, or that their daughter is a lesbian if she like sporting short hair and masculine clothes. This is hugely problematic as it perpetuates unhealthy gender stereotypes. Luckily, Chitra was more intellectually evolved.

“I was also what some people would call ‘tomboyish’. I wore shorts, had short hair and played table tennis. So, when my daughter did the same, I had no reason to suspect she was a lesbian,” says Chitra. “She did not like toys, she picked up books, just like I used to. I did not ‘notice’ anything because there was nothing to ‘notice’ in my child’s behaviour,” she explains. “When my daughter came out to me, I accepted her instantly. What’s not to accept. I love my child,” she says.

Her daughter Shalmalee also helped Chitra gain greater understanding. “This was when there was no internet, so my daughter would give me books to read. I went a long way in helping me understand how natural it was for my daughter to feel the way she did,” she explains.

But Chitra’s real journey began after her daughter had moved abroad. “Back in the day, I had no real contact with any parents. I interacted with the kids at their meets and events where I gatecrashed,” she says. Chitra also interacted a lot with Vikram Doctor and Shobhana S. Kumar, who she credits with helping her chart and navigate her journey as a committed ally of the community.

“Vikram opened my eyes to so many things I could not see earlier. Shobhana hand held me through my journey, helping me understand correct terms, taking me to events, bringing me closer to members of the community,” says the septuagenarian who is still as enthusiastic as a seven-year-old. “I needed to learn the correct words so empathy does not disappear. I committed myself to empowering myself with all the correct information,” she says.

Gradually these interactions inspired Chitra to take the next step. “I was curious about the journey of other parents. Their experiences with their children coming out and how they dealt with family and social pressure afterwards. So, I got together with like minded people to chalk out a strategy to help them,” she says explaining the genesis of Sweekar: The Rainbow Parents.

Filmmaker Sridhar Rangayan and activist Harish Iyer were always keen on building a community of parents and creating a safe space for them to share their experiences and learn from each other. “I wanted this to actually mean something. One cannot have a superficial approach to something this serious, so discussions went on for months. There were psychologists, other experienced parents of queer children, such as Aruna Desai, Padma Vishwanath, Nilakshi Roy and many others committed to help scared, worried, anxious parents,” she says.

“We started by educating them about the correct terminology. So many people were confused about what is bisexual and what is intersex. We created a safe space and encouraged parents to ask questions without fear of judgment,” she says.

Chitra explains the objectives of Sweekar saying, “Sweekar is about support, acceptance and empowerment. We have made a conscious decision to never out a parent against their will. We maintain complete confidentiality,” she says.

On January 26, in the run up to the Queer Azaadi March, Sweekar held a parents’ meet where parents and their queer children narrated their stories. At this meet Chitra read out the Preamble, encouraging the audience to repeat the words after her. “I want to help the community integrate with society. So, it is important to make mainstream issues also relevant to the community. What better way to inculcate values of freedom, democracy and inclusion than to take the community through the vision of our founding fathers,” says Chitra.

 

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Mumbai Police denies permission for Queer Pride Parade!

Claims they have information that protesters against CAA and NRC will join the pride and raise anti-government slogans.

29 Jan 2020

LGBT

In a shocking first, the Mumbai Police have denied permission for holding the Queer Azaadi March 2020. In a written letter they have claimed that permission is being denied because of apprehensions that people protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will join the pride march and raise slogans against the central government.

The Humsafar Trust, India’s oldest LGBTQ organization, that is also one of the organisers of the parade tweeted about the denial on Wednesday afternnon.

 


As did Queer Azaadi Mumbai, another group that is involved in organizing the pride.

 

 

The letter from the Mumbai Police written in Marathi says, “We have learnt that slogans could be raised against the central government in relation to CAA and NRC at this rally. We therefore deny permission for the rally. If a rally is conducted despite this, we will be forced to file charges and take action.”

Mumbai Police

This is heartbreaking for India’s vibrant Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Plus community that has been organizing and enthusiastically participating in the march, a celebration of LGBT pride, for over a decade. Until this year, the police have always been supportive.  

Equal Rights activist Harish Iyer, who is one of the many organisers of the march, had sought police permission and whose name appears on the denial letter says, “The pride is intersectional. The queer Muslim man who has no kaagaz to show, the transperson from Assam whose name is missing in NRC. The beef eater queer who gets lynched are all a part of the Queer community. When we walk the pride, we walk with all these identities in us.”

When Sabrang India contacted ACP Nagesh Jadhav, he advised us to speak with Senior police inspector Rajendra Mohite who had signed the letter, saying he had more information. But at the time of publishing this piece Sen PI Mohite remained unreachable. We will update the story with his quote when we have it.

However, an official from the Gamdevi Police Station told Mumbai Mirror, "We told them that the march could give a chance to others to infiltrate and mingle into the crowd and give it a political colour. That will ruin the very purpose of the march. Moreover, if at all the organisers were keen on taking out the march, they should ensure to keep outsiders at bay, which they failed to submit.”

 

Mumbai Police denies permission for Queer Pride Parade!

Claims they have information that protesters against CAA and NRC will join the pride and raise anti-government slogans.

LGBT

In a shocking first, the Mumbai Police have denied permission for holding the Queer Azaadi March 2020. In a written letter they have claimed that permission is being denied because of apprehensions that people protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will join the pride march and raise slogans against the central government.

The Humsafar Trust, India’s oldest LGBTQ organization, that is also one of the organisers of the parade tweeted about the denial on Wednesday afternnon.

 


As did Queer Azaadi Mumbai, another group that is involved in organizing the pride.

 

 

The letter from the Mumbai Police written in Marathi says, “We have learnt that slogans could be raised against the central government in relation to CAA and NRC at this rally. We therefore deny permission for the rally. If a rally is conducted despite this, we will be forced to file charges and take action.”

Mumbai Police

This is heartbreaking for India’s vibrant Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Plus community that has been organizing and enthusiastically participating in the march, a celebration of LGBT pride, for over a decade. Until this year, the police have always been supportive.  

Equal Rights activist Harish Iyer, who is one of the many organisers of the march, had sought police permission and whose name appears on the denial letter says, “The pride is intersectional. The queer Muslim man who has no kaagaz to show, the transperson from Assam whose name is missing in NRC. The beef eater queer who gets lynched are all a part of the Queer community. When we walk the pride, we walk with all these identities in us.”

When Sabrang India contacted ACP Nagesh Jadhav, he advised us to speak with Senior police inspector Rajendra Mohite who had signed the letter, saying he had more information. But at the time of publishing this piece Sen PI Mohite remained unreachable. We will update the story with his quote when we have it.

However, an official from the Gamdevi Police Station told Mumbai Mirror, "We told them that the march could give a chance to others to infiltrate and mingle into the crowd and give it a political colour. That will ruin the very purpose of the march. Moreover, if at all the organisers were keen on taking out the march, they should ensure to keep outsiders at bay, which they failed to submit.”

 

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How NRC further marginalises Transgender people

Often abandoned by their biological families, transgender people grow up amidst others like themselves, but always largely outside the system, and hence rarely have any documents

16 Jan 2020

Transgender

The NRC in Assam left about 2,000 transgender people from its final list compelling them to approach the apex court. Assam’s first transgender judge and the petitioner in this case Swati Bidhan Baruah said that the objection applications available during the NRC process did not contain a check box of “others” while marking sex of an individuals. This forced the members of the community to accept mark male or female as their sex. The exclusion, has thus, already begun.

Transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of people located at different points on the sex and gender spectrum. The community includes but is not limited to transgenders, trans-sexuals, intersex, hijra, gender queer, gender non-confirming, non-binary people and many more.

But in a country where there is limited understanding of the difference between sex and gender, and where the word gender is often used instead of sex because of the taboo associated with the word sex which is in turn reduced to refer to only the sexual act, the community has paid a heavy price. Recently, a downright regressive law was passed purportedly to empower Transgender persons, but the law itself virtually took away all agency and right to identify from the community. It essentially painted an extremely diverse community with the same brush and largely equated the transgender identity with the intersex identity, which is a very narrow vision.

Concerns of the community

The documents required to prove one’s citizenship, whether it is for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, or the propose National Population Register (NPR), require individuals to have agency over their functioning Indian society, a privilege that has not been accorded to many groups.

What about those who will not be able to access their documents at all? What if they have been disowned by their families? What if they have a different name from what was on their birth certificate? What if their sexual identity is different from what is marked on their school leaving certificate? What if they do not know who their parents are because they were abandoned at birth?

The transgender community consists of people living new identities, away from their families. Queer rights activist Rituparna Borah termed the new law to be fascist and against the interests of the community. "Many trans people do not have documents in the names they have chosen for themselves. How will they prove that 'I am the same person'? Many LGBTQ children are thrown out of the house because of their identity. How will they prove their lineage?" Borah said. "We challenge biological families and we choose our own families. Why are you pushing us towards our biological families who are oppressive towards women and the queer community," she questioned.

Many transgender people do not have ties with the families they were born into, many probably do not know the whereabouts of their families to procure such documents. This entire process is in itself a tedious one and could lead to more trauma than what this community already faces in the society.

On January 3, the queer community came out to protests against CAA and NRC on the occasion of birth anniversary of 19th century social reformer, Savitribai Phule. Protests took place in various cities, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Ranchi, Bangalore and Ahmedabad being few of them.

The law is deemed to be discriminative not just along religious lines but stands to adversely affect women, the marginalised sections of the society, informal labour force, unorganised workers, Dalits as well. Hence, the fight against CAA-NPR-NRC is intersectional and beyond just communal lines which is a narrative that needs to be fed into the minds of people so they understand the potentially long-lasting consequences of the law. People need to understand that people are out on the streets fighting for the injustices of not just one religion but all these communities of which the society is comprised. 

 

Related:

Nationwide protests against CAA-NPR-NRC and Trans Act 2019 commence
HRD Ministry’s response to parliamentary question highlights the lack of transgender participation in higher education
Enactment of the CAA has sparked a primordial fear among Muslims

How NRC further marginalises Transgender people

Often abandoned by their biological families, transgender people grow up amidst others like themselves, but always largely outside the system, and hence rarely have any documents

Transgender

The NRC in Assam left about 2,000 transgender people from its final list compelling them to approach the apex court. Assam’s first transgender judge and the petitioner in this case Swati Bidhan Baruah said that the objection applications available during the NRC process did not contain a check box of “others” while marking sex of an individuals. This forced the members of the community to accept mark male or female as their sex. The exclusion, has thus, already begun.

Transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of people located at different points on the sex and gender spectrum. The community includes but is not limited to transgenders, trans-sexuals, intersex, hijra, gender queer, gender non-confirming, non-binary people and many more.

But in a country where there is limited understanding of the difference between sex and gender, and where the word gender is often used instead of sex because of the taboo associated with the word sex which is in turn reduced to refer to only the sexual act, the community has paid a heavy price. Recently, a downright regressive law was passed purportedly to empower Transgender persons, but the law itself virtually took away all agency and right to identify from the community. It essentially painted an extremely diverse community with the same brush and largely equated the transgender identity with the intersex identity, which is a very narrow vision.

Concerns of the community

The documents required to prove one’s citizenship, whether it is for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, or the propose National Population Register (NPR), require individuals to have agency over their functioning Indian society, a privilege that has not been accorded to many groups.

What about those who will not be able to access their documents at all? What if they have been disowned by their families? What if they have a different name from what was on their birth certificate? What if their sexual identity is different from what is marked on their school leaving certificate? What if they do not know who their parents are because they were abandoned at birth?

The transgender community consists of people living new identities, away from their families. Queer rights activist Rituparna Borah termed the new law to be fascist and against the interests of the community. "Many trans people do not have documents in the names they have chosen for themselves. How will they prove that 'I am the same person'? Many LGBTQ children are thrown out of the house because of their identity. How will they prove their lineage?" Borah said. "We challenge biological families and we choose our own families. Why are you pushing us towards our biological families who are oppressive towards women and the queer community," she questioned.

Many transgender people do not have ties with the families they were born into, many probably do not know the whereabouts of their families to procure such documents. This entire process is in itself a tedious one and could lead to more trauma than what this community already faces in the society.

On January 3, the queer community came out to protests against CAA and NRC on the occasion of birth anniversary of 19th century social reformer, Savitribai Phule. Protests took place in various cities, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Ranchi, Bangalore and Ahmedabad being few of them.

The law is deemed to be discriminative not just along religious lines but stands to adversely affect women, the marginalised sections of the society, informal labour force, unorganised workers, Dalits as well. Hence, the fight against CAA-NPR-NRC is intersectional and beyond just communal lines which is a narrative that needs to be fed into the minds of people so they understand the potentially long-lasting consequences of the law. People need to understand that people are out on the streets fighting for the injustices of not just one religion but all these communities of which the society is comprised. 

 

Related:

Nationwide protests against CAA-NPR-NRC and Trans Act 2019 commence
HRD Ministry’s response to parliamentary question highlights the lack of transgender participation in higher education
Enactment of the CAA has sparked a primordial fear among Muslims

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Unnao rape case: Sengar’s sentence hearing adjourned to December 20

The Delhi District Court today, heard submissions to decide upon the quantum of sentence to be given to ex-MLA of BJP, Kuldeep Sengar, for being convicted on charges of rape under IPC as well as under POCSO.

17 Dec 2019

SentencedImage Courtesy: ANI


Arguments were put forth by both parties where the prosecutor representing CBI asked for maximum punishment and compensation for the survivor. The CBI prosecutor also argued against taking a lenient stand or liberal view towards sentencing. The prosecutor sought compensation under section 357 and 357A of the CrPC.

Counsel for the accused submitted that the convict’s social work must be taken into consideration when deciding quantum of sentence. He also pointed out that throughout his stay in Tihar Jail, the convict has displayed good conduct and he has not been a ‘menace to society’.

His counsel also said that if fine is being imposed then compensation may not be given to the victim as the Judge had pointed out that already a compensation of Rs. 25 lakhs has been given to the survivor. The judge noted that no amount of compensation can repair the injury caused to the survivor, yet he asked for nomination papers of the convict Sengar to be presented on December to determine his financial status in order to determine the compensation amount.

While pronouncing the judgment, the district judge, Dharmesh Sharma, had observed that, “Sengar was a powerful person, the victim was a village girl, not from a cosmopolitan educated area which led to delay in filing case. I found her statement truthful, unblemished that she was sexually assaulted and under threat”.

The Court convicted Sengar on December 16 under section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code as well as section 5(c) and 6 of POCSO Act. Both charges under IPC as well as the POCSO Act provide for minimum rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and maximum punishment of life imprisonment as well as fine.
 

Related:

Unnao rape case: Kuldeep Singh Sengar convicted
Unnao accident witness claims murder bid on self

Death Penalty In POCSO Act Imperils Child Victims Of Sexual Offences
Oppn slams BJP for selective targeting of Rape Survivor in Chinmayanand Case
Selective Silence & Outrage: The Unnao Story
SC transfers Unnao case to Delhi, orders CBI to complete probe in 7 days
Unnao Story Is The Failure Of Indian system

Vociferous protests by Civil Society and Political Parties as Unnao survivor battles for life

Unnao rape case: Sengar’s sentence hearing adjourned to December 20

The Delhi District Court today, heard submissions to decide upon the quantum of sentence to be given to ex-MLA of BJP, Kuldeep Sengar, for being convicted on charges of rape under IPC as well as under POCSO.

SentencedImage Courtesy: ANI


Arguments were put forth by both parties where the prosecutor representing CBI asked for maximum punishment and compensation for the survivor. The CBI prosecutor also argued against taking a lenient stand or liberal view towards sentencing. The prosecutor sought compensation under section 357 and 357A of the CrPC.

Counsel for the accused submitted that the convict’s social work must be taken into consideration when deciding quantum of sentence. He also pointed out that throughout his stay in Tihar Jail, the convict has displayed good conduct and he has not been a ‘menace to society’.

His counsel also said that if fine is being imposed then compensation may not be given to the victim as the Judge had pointed out that already a compensation of Rs. 25 lakhs has been given to the survivor. The judge noted that no amount of compensation can repair the injury caused to the survivor, yet he asked for nomination papers of the convict Sengar to be presented on December to determine his financial status in order to determine the compensation amount.

While pronouncing the judgment, the district judge, Dharmesh Sharma, had observed that, “Sengar was a powerful person, the victim was a village girl, not from a cosmopolitan educated area which led to delay in filing case. I found her statement truthful, unblemished that she was sexually assaulted and under threat”.

The Court convicted Sengar on December 16 under section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code as well as section 5(c) and 6 of POCSO Act. Both charges under IPC as well as the POCSO Act provide for minimum rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and maximum punishment of life imprisonment as well as fine.
 

Related:

Unnao rape case: Kuldeep Singh Sengar convicted
Unnao accident witness claims murder bid on self

Death Penalty In POCSO Act Imperils Child Victims Of Sexual Offences
Oppn slams BJP for selective targeting of Rape Survivor in Chinmayanand Case
Selective Silence & Outrage: The Unnao Story
SC transfers Unnao case to Delhi, orders CBI to complete probe in 7 days
Unnao Story Is The Failure Of Indian system

Vociferous protests by Civil Society and Political Parties as Unnao survivor battles for life

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This is Not the Justice We Seek

We awoke today to the shocking news of the deaths of the four suspects in the murder and rape of the veterinarian last week. They were killed at 3 am purportedly while trying to ‘escape’ from the scene of crime, where they had been taken for a dead-of-night reconstruction of the crime of rape and murder at the scene of the offence.

06 Dec 2019

Hyderabad encounter

I grieve with the families of the veterinarian, as I grieve, deeply with the family of TekuGopu whose wife was gang-raped and murdered in Asifabad three days before the veterinarian.TekuGopu’s wife was three years older than the vet, and belonged to a nomadic community that eked out a living by petty vending and wage labour.  These are two in a long line of girls and women across the country who have been killed and maimed in the most brutal fashion while we have had a stringent, amended rape law in place and fast track judicial processes.  

Two women politicians, Ms Jaya Bachchan and BehenjiMayawati went on record asking for suspects to be publicly lynched and celebrated the deaths by encounter, respectively.  This ironically, while we have a rape accused anointed as Chief Minister of the largest state in the country (he is an accused, like these others who are now dead, is he not?), and another who has been allowed to flee the country and set up his own ‘nation’ – untouched by the long arm of the law, men of god, both.  And yet another politician whose case might abate because the victim has been attacked and is battling for life with 80 percent burns.

This is precisely why as citizens in this free country, we need to think apart from these voices of power and impunity that are the biggest threat to the cause of women.  I perfectly understand the emotional upheavals and the grief of the families of victims, who will, from their point of view, sometimes ask for death in return for death.  But we also need to remember that not all people do that.  We can scarcely forget that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi asked for clemency for the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.  Grief at loss speaks through different tongues, and we need to be mindful of this fact.  Violent deaths and maiming are gruesome – sexual assault, assassination, caste atrocity, shooting children with pellets and guns… But we must take note of the diverse ways in which we grieve, and the diverse ways in which we can grieve and heal. 

We asked for a more stringent law on rape.  We got a far more stringent law, as a direct result of the public outcry and the intense deliberations of the Justice Verma Committee on rape law reform in 2013.  In an important sense therefore, the struggles of the Delhi victim’s family were not in vain.  The Nirbhaya Act is testimony to the strength of her spirit and an acknowledgment of the loss – to family, and country – by the mere possibility of this level of violence. 

Trigger happy policemen with an utter disregard for the law are not the answer we seek.  The ends of justice are not served by wanton killing and retributive bloodlust.  The course of justice is not determined by the grief and grieving of victims’ families.  Justice lies in supporting them in their moment of grief and pain and insisting on due process that brings suspects and accused to trial through a robust, stringent and competent criminal investigation. 

What is the purpose served by killing four unarmed suspects who were in high security police custody and certainly under physical restraint? The loss of life is never compensated by the taking of more lives.  In its arbitrariness, its pre-meditated nature and the guarantee of impunity it enjoys, it is grossly unlawful – and in complete derogation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India – ‘No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.’ 

At the end of it, what is the account of bodies we are left with in the case of the veterinarian?

One person (a woman) was raped, killed and tortured post-mortem – a most heinous treatment of a human being possible.

In return, 4 suspects are apprehended and shot in custody within a week, without the criminal investigation having commenced in any substantive way.  They were shot purportedly when they tried to escape during an exercise of reconstruction of crime at the scene of offence – so even that very preliminary step in criminal investigation had not been completed.  So, the police personnel – unnamed, except for the Commissioner of Police – have caused the investigation of the crime of rape and murder to abate by killing the suspects.  They have still not been convicted for the crime, nor their involvement investigated fully.  However, that is not the end of the matter, because, as a direct result of this shooting, we have four more dead bodies – all victims of murder, according to the definition of murder in criminal law – that must be investigated. Unlike the suspects who confessed in custody under conditions of restraint, in the second set of murders, we have an open and public admission of commission of the act of killing by officers of the state.  The official version is that the suspects were attempting an escape when the police shot in ‘self-defense.’  Self-defense is a plea when the other party is armed and tries to kill, is it not?  Surely these four men, having been kept in custody, were unarmed.  Be that as it may, self-defense is only up for consideration during the evidentiary stage of a trial, and cannot be claimed to escape responsibility for willfully and in pre-meditated fashion causing death.  We have deliberated on this at length in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Justice GodaRaghuram’s judgment and Justice Bilal Nazki’s dissent that preceded it can scarcely be set aside. 

The police are officers of the state – bound by the Constitution and trained in Criminal Procedure, the law of evidence, and the Penal Code, among others.  They have been given arms to protect, and to ensure security, not to kill and maim at will.  A disciplined police force is a non-negotiable for the rule of law.  They are under oath to subserve the constitution, irrespective of what dominant public sentiment is.  Can we ever forget Dr. Ambedkar?  Public morality he warned must yield to constitutional morality, which may not be a natural sentiment, but one that we as a civilized constitutional democracy – if we call ourselves that -- must school ourselves into. The need is restorative policing, not retribution.

As women, it is extremely dangerous for us to succumb to the blood lust of the police, and the arbitrariness of the state, even while we travel the torturous road to justice, freedom and dignity.  It is difficult to even think through, but we have no alternative road to a just society.

(Author is Professor & Director, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad)

This is Not the Justice We Seek

We awoke today to the shocking news of the deaths of the four suspects in the murder and rape of the veterinarian last week. They were killed at 3 am purportedly while trying to ‘escape’ from the scene of crime, where they had been taken for a dead-of-night reconstruction of the crime of rape and murder at the scene of the offence.

Hyderabad encounter

I grieve with the families of the veterinarian, as I grieve, deeply with the family of TekuGopu whose wife was gang-raped and murdered in Asifabad three days before the veterinarian.TekuGopu’s wife was three years older than the vet, and belonged to a nomadic community that eked out a living by petty vending and wage labour.  These are two in a long line of girls and women across the country who have been killed and maimed in the most brutal fashion while we have had a stringent, amended rape law in place and fast track judicial processes.  

Two women politicians, Ms Jaya Bachchan and BehenjiMayawati went on record asking for suspects to be publicly lynched and celebrated the deaths by encounter, respectively.  This ironically, while we have a rape accused anointed as Chief Minister of the largest state in the country (he is an accused, like these others who are now dead, is he not?), and another who has been allowed to flee the country and set up his own ‘nation’ – untouched by the long arm of the law, men of god, both.  And yet another politician whose case might abate because the victim has been attacked and is battling for life with 80 percent burns.

This is precisely why as citizens in this free country, we need to think apart from these voices of power and impunity that are the biggest threat to the cause of women.  I perfectly understand the emotional upheavals and the grief of the families of victims, who will, from their point of view, sometimes ask for death in return for death.  But we also need to remember that not all people do that.  We can scarcely forget that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi asked for clemency for the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.  Grief at loss speaks through different tongues, and we need to be mindful of this fact.  Violent deaths and maiming are gruesome – sexual assault, assassination, caste atrocity, shooting children with pellets and guns… But we must take note of the diverse ways in which we grieve, and the diverse ways in which we can grieve and heal. 

We asked for a more stringent law on rape.  We got a far more stringent law, as a direct result of the public outcry and the intense deliberations of the Justice Verma Committee on rape law reform in 2013.  In an important sense therefore, the struggles of the Delhi victim’s family were not in vain.  The Nirbhaya Act is testimony to the strength of her spirit and an acknowledgment of the loss – to family, and country – by the mere possibility of this level of violence. 

Trigger happy policemen with an utter disregard for the law are not the answer we seek.  The ends of justice are not served by wanton killing and retributive bloodlust.  The course of justice is not determined by the grief and grieving of victims’ families.  Justice lies in supporting them in their moment of grief and pain and insisting on due process that brings suspects and accused to trial through a robust, stringent and competent criminal investigation. 

What is the purpose served by killing four unarmed suspects who were in high security police custody and certainly under physical restraint? The loss of life is never compensated by the taking of more lives.  In its arbitrariness, its pre-meditated nature and the guarantee of impunity it enjoys, it is grossly unlawful – and in complete derogation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India – ‘No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.’ 

At the end of it, what is the account of bodies we are left with in the case of the veterinarian?

One person (a woman) was raped, killed and tortured post-mortem – a most heinous treatment of a human being possible.

In return, 4 suspects are apprehended and shot in custody within a week, without the criminal investigation having commenced in any substantive way.  They were shot purportedly when they tried to escape during an exercise of reconstruction of crime at the scene of offence – so even that very preliminary step in criminal investigation had not been completed.  So, the police personnel – unnamed, except for the Commissioner of Police – have caused the investigation of the crime of rape and murder to abate by killing the suspects.  They have still not been convicted for the crime, nor their involvement investigated fully.  However, that is not the end of the matter, because, as a direct result of this shooting, we have four more dead bodies – all victims of murder, according to the definition of murder in criminal law – that must be investigated. Unlike the suspects who confessed in custody under conditions of restraint, in the second set of murders, we have an open and public admission of commission of the act of killing by officers of the state.  The official version is that the suspects were attempting an escape when the police shot in ‘self-defense.’  Self-defense is a plea when the other party is armed and tries to kill, is it not?  Surely these four men, having been kept in custody, were unarmed.  Be that as it may, self-defense is only up for consideration during the evidentiary stage of a trial, and cannot be claimed to escape responsibility for willfully and in pre-meditated fashion causing death.  We have deliberated on this at length in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Justice GodaRaghuram’s judgment and Justice Bilal Nazki’s dissent that preceded it can scarcely be set aside. 

The police are officers of the state – bound by the Constitution and trained in Criminal Procedure, the law of evidence, and the Penal Code, among others.  They have been given arms to protect, and to ensure security, not to kill and maim at will.  A disciplined police force is a non-negotiable for the rule of law.  They are under oath to subserve the constitution, irrespective of what dominant public sentiment is.  Can we ever forget Dr. Ambedkar?  Public morality he warned must yield to constitutional morality, which may not be a natural sentiment, but one that we as a civilized constitutional democracy – if we call ourselves that -- must school ourselves into. The need is restorative policing, not retribution.

As women, it is extremely dangerous for us to succumb to the blood lust of the police, and the arbitrariness of the state, even while we travel the torturous road to justice, freedom and dignity.  It is difficult to even think through, but we have no alternative road to a just society.

(Author is Professor & Director, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad)

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Who killed the Hyderabad rape accused?

This is not the first time that guns and the bullet have been used to get at those labelled criminals. For Sajjanar, handling the high profile rape case of Hyderabad veterinary doctor, of the three ‘encounters’ of non-Maoists in Telangana in 10 years, two were led by the same cop

06 Dec 2019
hyderabad cop
Cyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar 


The police officer from the Hyderabad police, was SP Warrangal ( Sajjanar), when three persons accused of throwing acid on two girls were shot dead in an encounter on December 12, 2008. Now at about 3 a.m. on December 6, 2019, media reports tell us that the ‘encounter of four accused’ in the rape and murder of the 27 year old veterinarian doctor in Hyderabad that had generated nationwide outrage is the third in 10 years in Telangana not involving Maoists by the same officer. The accused were reportedly taken to Chattapally, 30 km from Hyderabad, post-midnight in an attempt to recreate the crime scene when they allegedly tried to escape after attacking the police. Officials have been on record with sections of the media stating that the police fired at them in self-defence and killed all four on the spot.


2008 ‘encounter’ in acid attack case 

The first encounter dates back to December 12, 2008, when the Warangal police shot down, in cold blood, three persons allegedly accused of throwing acid on two girls. It was none other than present day Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar, who is handling the Hyderabad rape case, led the 2008 action as the SP of Warangal.

At that time 11 years ago too, the police had claimed that those ‘accused’ in the acid attack case were shot dead in self-defence as they had tried to attack the police and escape. According to the police, the trio was taken to a place near Muvunur where they had hidden the motorcycle used during the incident. But as soon as they neared the vehicle, the accused whipped out a revolver and knives hidden in the motorcycle and tried to attack the police.

Police had claimed that the men had asked the escort to stop to answer nature’s call and while reboarding the bus, tried to snatch weapons from the police. All five of them were killed in self-defence, police had said. The encounter took place a week after two SIMI activists shot dead four policemen while trying to escape a check post in Nalgonda district. Civil rights activists have however repeatedly claimed it was a staged encounter and that the five men were killed to avenge the death of the policemen.

Who killed the Hyderabad rape accused?

This is not the first time that guns and the bullet have been used to get at those labelled criminals. For Sajjanar, handling the high profile rape case of Hyderabad veterinary doctor, of the three ‘encounters’ of non-Maoists in Telangana in 10 years, two were led by the same cop

hyderabad cop
Cyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar 


The police officer from the Hyderabad police, was SP Warrangal ( Sajjanar), when three persons accused of throwing acid on two girls were shot dead in an encounter on December 12, 2008. Now at about 3 a.m. on December 6, 2019, media reports tell us that the ‘encounter of four accused’ in the rape and murder of the 27 year old veterinarian doctor in Hyderabad that had generated nationwide outrage is the third in 10 years in Telangana not involving Maoists by the same officer. The accused were reportedly taken to Chattapally, 30 km from Hyderabad, post-midnight in an attempt to recreate the crime scene when they allegedly tried to escape after attacking the police. Officials have been on record with sections of the media stating that the police fired at them in self-defence and killed all four on the spot.


2008 ‘encounter’ in acid attack case 

The first encounter dates back to December 12, 2008, when the Warangal police shot down, in cold blood, three persons allegedly accused of throwing acid on two girls. It was none other than present day Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar, who is handling the Hyderabad rape case, led the 2008 action as the SP of Warangal.

At that time 11 years ago too, the police had claimed that those ‘accused’ in the acid attack case were shot dead in self-defence as they had tried to attack the police and escape. According to the police, the trio was taken to a place near Muvunur where they had hidden the motorcycle used during the incident. But as soon as they neared the vehicle, the accused whipped out a revolver and knives hidden in the motorcycle and tried to attack the police.

Police had claimed that the men had asked the escort to stop to answer nature’s call and while reboarding the bus, tried to snatch weapons from the police. All five of them were killed in self-defence, police had said. The encounter took place a week after two SIMI activists shot dead four policemen while trying to escape a check post in Nalgonda district. Civil rights activists have however repeatedly claimed it was a staged encounter and that the five men were killed to avenge the death of the policemen.

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All four accused in Hyderabad vet rape & shot dead

06 Dec 2019

Hyderabad Police Encounter

Hyderabad/New Delhi: The extra judicial killing took place at 3 am on Friday, close to where the accused had allegedly burnt the woman's body. The Cyberabad police has given this information to the media and world. According to police officials, the accused were taken to the crime scene to recreate the incident of the crime, when they reportedly tried to escape. 

 DCP Shamshabad Prakash Reddy said, “Cyberabad Police had brought the accused people to the crime spot for re-construction of the sequence of events. The accused snatched weapon and fired on police. In self defence, the police fired back, in which the accused were killed.”

The men were rushed to a nearby hospital but they succumbed to bullet injuries.  The father of the veterinarian said, “It has been 10 days to the day my daughter died. I express my gratitude towards the police and the government for this. My daughter's soul must be at peace now.”

Speaking to media, the sister of the Hyderabad vet said, "I am happy the four accused have been killed in an encounter. This incident would set an example. I thank the police and media for their support."

The men, identified as Mohammed (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20), were arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping and killing the woman by smothering her and later burning her body.

The police alleged that one of the four accused had gestured to the other three to flee after attacking the cops. The four tried to run towards a deserted pathway when cops opened fire in self-defence, an official told The Indian Express. He added the accused were taken for the recce in the middle of the night “to avoid confrontation with the public, who are angry.”


Also Read
Revisiting the Justice Verma Committee report of 2013: #JusticeForRapeVictims
Five Actions You Can Take To End Gender Based Violence
35 year-old attempts to rape 4 year-old, paraded naked: Nagpur
Sultanpur rape case: CJP moves NHRC citing lacunae in police investigation
Reject culture of misogyny, democratise socio-cultural spaces: #Justice4RapeVictims

All four accused in Hyderabad vet rape & shot dead

Hyderabad Police Encounter

Hyderabad/New Delhi: The extra judicial killing took place at 3 am on Friday, close to where the accused had allegedly burnt the woman's body. The Cyberabad police has given this information to the media and world. According to police officials, the accused were taken to the crime scene to recreate the incident of the crime, when they reportedly tried to escape. 

 DCP Shamshabad Prakash Reddy said, “Cyberabad Police had brought the accused people to the crime spot for re-construction of the sequence of events. The accused snatched weapon and fired on police. In self defence, the police fired back, in which the accused were killed.”

The men were rushed to a nearby hospital but they succumbed to bullet injuries.  The father of the veterinarian said, “It has been 10 days to the day my daughter died. I express my gratitude towards the police and the government for this. My daughter's soul must be at peace now.”

Speaking to media, the sister of the Hyderabad vet said, "I am happy the four accused have been killed in an encounter. This incident would set an example. I thank the police and media for their support."

The men, identified as Mohammed (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu (20), were arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping and killing the woman by smothering her and later burning her body.

The police alleged that one of the four accused had gestured to the other three to flee after attacking the cops. The four tried to run towards a deserted pathway when cops opened fire in self-defence, an official told The Indian Express. He added the accused were taken for the recce in the middle of the night “to avoid confrontation with the public, who are angry.”


Also Read
Revisiting the Justice Verma Committee report of 2013: #JusticeForRapeVictims
Five Actions You Can Take To End Gender Based Violence
35 year-old attempts to rape 4 year-old, paraded naked: Nagpur
Sultanpur rape case: CJP moves NHRC citing lacunae in police investigation
Reject culture of misogyny, democratise socio-cultural spaces: #Justice4RapeVictims

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Unnao rape survivor set ablaze by accused!

She was on her way to the hearing in the case when an accused who was out on bail got together with his accomplices and set her on fire.

05 Dec 2019

Unnao Rape

In yet example of the impunity with which perpetrators intimidate and silence witnesses, a rape survivor from Unnao was set ablaze by a group of men who had raped her. Reports say that the rape accused and his friends took the woman outside her village, into the fields and doused her with petrol before setting her on fire.

The incident took place at Sindupur village under the Bihar Police station area on Thursday morning when she was on her way to Rai Bareilly for a hearing in the case. The victim has sustained 80% burns and has been admitted to the Trauma Center of the King George Medical University, Lucknow.

The accused are reported to be Shivam Trivedi, Shubham Trivedi, Harishankar Trivedi, Ramkishor Trivedi and Umesh Bajpayee. The police say that three of the men have been arrested and that the lookout for the other two is on. Out of the three accused, one is the man against who she had filed the rape charges in March this year.

SK Bhagat, senior police officer from Lucknow, told reporters , "In her FIR, the woman said that one of the two rape-accused was in relationship with her in 2018 but he physically exploited her, lured her with a marriage proposal. Later, he refused to get married and raped her with another friend." While registering the rape charges, she had also alleged that the men had made a video about the incident. One of the accused had been arrested but got out after getting bail on November 30 and allegedly decided to take revenge.

The Asian Age reports that after she was set on fire, she ran for a while before eyewitnesses saw her and informed the police. The police then sent her to the Community Health Centre from where she was sent to the district Shyama Prasad Mukherjee hospital, before being referred to Lucknow.
 

Reactions are pouring in, will justice too?

The gravity of the incident has shaken up the political class of Uttar Pradesh. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned after the Congress wanted discussions on the incident. However, since the matter was not listen, Chairman of the House, N Venkaiah Naidu did not allow any discussion on the same. He later adjourned the House over the rising furore by the Opposition parties.

Republic World reported Sakshi Maharaj, Unnao MP and BJP leader as saying, "It is a very unfortunate incident and any amount on the condemnation is less. I had put in all my efforts when the rape case had occurred. The accused were sent to jail, not via Unnao, but Rae Bareli. They were granted bail a few days ago and today when the girl left her house at 4:30 AM, the accused had tried to kill her by setting her on fire. I hope that such accused should be hanged to death.”

The National Commission of Women too has taken suo-motu cognizance of the case and asked the UP police to take action on the same at the earliest.

 


UP CM Yogi Adityanath has said that the treatment expenses will be borne by the government and strict action will be taken against the accused.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too pulled up the UP government in her reaction. She tweeted that in the wake of such heinous crimes against women in UP, it was clear that the administration was lying of a good law and order situation in the state.


Sharad Pawar too implored the state and central government to take immediate action in the matter.
 


Advocate and MP Majeed Memon too spoke about the matter. In his tweet he said –

 


Shama Mohamed, Congress member also spoke about the negligence of the police to provide any protection to the victim in such an important case.

 


The incident of this 23-year-old woman in Unnao has come close on the heels of the rape and murder of the veterinary doctor in Hyderabad which enraged the country. It has been noted that the state and central governments have also not implemented the Justice Verma Committee Report 2013 recommendations that list out guidelines for women’s safety and making public spaces safer for women.

The country is demanding higher convictions in cases of crimes and stricter sentences for the accused. Will the police, the judiciary and the government take notice of the increasing incidents of crime against women in the country or will it react after it’s too late?

 


Related:

Violence against women – more than just a law & order problem
Reject culture of misogyny, democratise socio-cultural spaces: #Justice4RapeVictims
WCD Ministry offers up cookie-cutter answers to
 queries on domestic violence
Sultanpur rape case: CJP moves NHRC citing lacunae in police investigation

Unnao rape survivor set ablaze by accused!

She was on her way to the hearing in the case when an accused who was out on bail got together with his accomplices and set her on fire.

Unnao Rape

In yet example of the impunity with which perpetrators intimidate and silence witnesses, a rape survivor from Unnao was set ablaze by a group of men who had raped her. Reports say that the rape accused and his friends took the woman outside her village, into the fields and doused her with petrol before setting her on fire.

The incident took place at Sindupur village under the Bihar Police station area on Thursday morning when she was on her way to Rai Bareilly for a hearing in the case. The victim has sustained 80% burns and has been admitted to the Trauma Center of the King George Medical University, Lucknow.

The accused are reported to be Shivam Trivedi, Shubham Trivedi, Harishankar Trivedi, Ramkishor Trivedi and Umesh Bajpayee. The police say that three of the men have been arrested and that the lookout for the other two is on. Out of the three accused, one is the man against who she had filed the rape charges in March this year.

SK Bhagat, senior police officer from Lucknow, told reporters , "In her FIR, the woman said that one of the two rape-accused was in relationship with her in 2018 but he physically exploited her, lured her with a marriage proposal. Later, he refused to get married and raped her with another friend." While registering the rape charges, she had also alleged that the men had made a video about the incident. One of the accused had been arrested but got out after getting bail on November 30 and allegedly decided to take revenge.

The Asian Age reports that after she was set on fire, she ran for a while before eyewitnesses saw her and informed the police. The police then sent her to the Community Health Centre from where she was sent to the district Shyama Prasad Mukherjee hospital, before being referred to Lucknow.
 

Reactions are pouring in, will justice too?

The gravity of the incident has shaken up the political class of Uttar Pradesh. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned after the Congress wanted discussions on the incident. However, since the matter was not listen, Chairman of the House, N Venkaiah Naidu did not allow any discussion on the same. He later adjourned the House over the rising furore by the Opposition parties.

Republic World reported Sakshi Maharaj, Unnao MP and BJP leader as saying, "It is a very unfortunate incident and any amount on the condemnation is less. I had put in all my efforts when the rape case had occurred. The accused were sent to jail, not via Unnao, but Rae Bareli. They were granted bail a few days ago and today when the girl left her house at 4:30 AM, the accused had tried to kill her by setting her on fire. I hope that such accused should be hanged to death.”

The National Commission of Women too has taken suo-motu cognizance of the case and asked the UP police to take action on the same at the earliest.

 


UP CM Yogi Adityanath has said that the treatment expenses will be borne by the government and strict action will be taken against the accused.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too pulled up the UP government in her reaction. She tweeted that in the wake of such heinous crimes against women in UP, it was clear that the administration was lying of a good law and order situation in the state.


Sharad Pawar too implored the state and central government to take immediate action in the matter.
 


Advocate and MP Majeed Memon too spoke about the matter. In his tweet he said –

 


Shama Mohamed, Congress member also spoke about the negligence of the police to provide any protection to the victim in such an important case.

 


The incident of this 23-year-old woman in Unnao has come close on the heels of the rape and murder of the veterinary doctor in Hyderabad which enraged the country. It has been noted that the state and central governments have also not implemented the Justice Verma Committee Report 2013 recommendations that list out guidelines for women’s safety and making public spaces safer for women.

The country is demanding higher convictions in cases of crimes and stricter sentences for the accused. Will the police, the judiciary and the government take notice of the increasing incidents of crime against women in the country or will it react after it’s too late?

 


Related:

Violence against women – more than just a law & order problem
Reject culture of misogyny, democratise socio-cultural spaces: #Justice4RapeVictims
WCD Ministry offers up cookie-cutter answers to
 queries on domestic violence
Sultanpur rape case: CJP moves NHRC citing lacunae in police investigation

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