Midnight protests against rapes politicisation or national issue? It's BJP vs Congress

Sania Mirza

Midnight protests against rapes politicisation or national issue? It's BJP vs Congress

Yesterday, on April 12, Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter saying, "Like millions of Indians my heart hurts tonight India simply can not continue to treat its women the way it does.

The BJP government is drawing a lot of flak over rape of a minor in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, and Unnao rape case, which allegedly involves BJP MLA Kuldeep Senger. What happened to Asifa at Kathua is a crime against humanity. Some protesters even crossed over the barricades and broke through them.

"I am here as a woman and an Indian", said Jyoti Parmar, one of the many nuns protesting at the event.

The march was attended by senior Congress leaders including Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Salman Khurshid, Ashok Gehlot, Ajay Maken, Sushmita Dev, Haroon Yusuf, Randeep Surjewala and Ambika Soni.

"Does that not tell us about a certain mindset that prevails in the minds of BJP leadership in these states and also at the Center?" he further asked.

Rahul Gandhi joined the protest around midnight.

"However, Chairman of the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Suresh Haware, took umbrage at his remarks and said "to drag Shirdi in a political blame game is very painful" and demanded his apology".

Calling the prime minister's silence as "unacceptable", Rahul Gandhi said India was waiting for him to speak up. "It's too crowed here".

File image of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

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Several Congress leaders also poked fun at the Modi government's Beti Bachao slogan, saying the daughters were not safe in the country.

"This brutality, instead of being punished, is actually being shielded".

She, however, said they were "misled and misguided" by people and accused the Congress of communalising the rape incidents.

Sucheta De from AISA said, "It is not a co-incident that in Unnao, Kathua as well as in JNU, the accused of rape, murder and molestation are being shielded by state and RSS machinery while the BJP is in power in both these states as well as in Centre. We all will have to join hands and remove this evil from the society".

"This is about our women".

In a separate tweet, the Congress party said: "It is shocking that the Yogi Govt has withdrawn a rape case against a former BJP minister".

"2. Why are accused rapists and murderers protected by the state? This is a national issue and not a political one", he said. Manisha Pandita, an entrepreneur who came from Powai to be a part of the protest felt it was beyond disgust that people have diverted from the cases and are trying to politicise it. But, typically, he goes unusually silent when betis are raped, brutalized, and murdered.

The candle-light protest on Thursday midnight was called at a short notice and saw people converging at the India Gate in sizeable numbers to express their support. "Now the case has been given to CBI, they will decide on arrest", OP Singh, UP DGP asserted in Unnao Rape Case. We are condemning it. "We can be close to someone, but that doesn't mean we share their views", she said. "But BJP has vitiated the atmosphere so badly in J&K that these individuals have now turned communal", he added.

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