Against the backdrop of a surge in rape cases in Haryana, a group of women’s organisations today accused Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of playing vote-bank politics and not doing enough to fight such crimes and violence against women in the state.
They also condemned the attack on over 400 activists, including CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, by Haryana police during a rally demanding justice for the survivors of rape and sexual assault in Rohtak on October 15, and also demanded withdrawal of cases filed against them. “We were beaten up and instead of taking action against the police or taking action against the authorities who gave the order…they have filed most atrocious cases against us,” Sudha Sundararaman of All India Democratic Women’s Association told reporters. “The Chief Minister was non-committal in withdrawing the cases. We are deeply outraged on the attitude of the Chief Minister and we feel that it is because of the vote-bank politics that exists in Haryana,” she said. The delegation condemned violence against women in Haryana.
The state has witnessed 20 cases of rape in the past one month, out of which 12 are Dalit women and from weaker sections of the society, the activist said. CPI(M) leader Karat had alleged that Hooda is not making serious efforts to curb the rising incidents of crime against women, especially in rural areas. In a memorandum presented to the Chief Minister, the delegation of activists who met Hooda demanded guidelines for police to deal with such heinous cases. The memorandum said severe action must be taken against authorities who prevent investigations from taking place, reprimand the authorities who drawback from undertaking medical examination. “The discourse around rape, especially the way in which the khap panchayat leaders are making anti-women statements about lowering the age of marriage. Some other leaders are making statement about 90 per cent of rapes being consensual.
There should be strict actions against such leaders,” Sundararaman said. A khap mahapanchayat in a meeting on October 14 had brushed aside the idea of a khap leader that the marriageable age of girls should be brought down to 16 years, saying the suggestion was individual in nature. The Haryana government, on its part, has written to the Punjab and Haryana High Court to set up fast track courts to deal with heinous crimes. “Haryana government must see that these guidelines are duplicated in other states so that women’s movement nationally becomes stronger and violence against women must stop, and constitutional justice must become a reality,” Jyotsna Chatterji of Joint Women’s Programme said.
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- Haryana announces slew of measures to curb crime against women
- Rising crime against women in Delhi figures in Parliament
- Hooda urges men, women to change their mindset
- Women unsafe in Haryana: Bishnoi
- Women helpline launched in Jind
- Delhi to have seven new shelters for destitute, pregnant women
- Cong tries to defend Hooda
- Hooda assures no laxity in Jind and Hisar gang rape cases
- Delhi registered 4 per cent increase in crime in 2011