On 17th September 2018, several women’s organisations surrounded the Haryana Bhavan at Delhi against the gang rape of a 19 year old girl in Rewari, Haryana. Members of many organisations including from AIDWA, AIPWA, NFIW, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Swastik Mahila Samiti, CSW, AIMSS, DYFI, SFI, and KYS participated in the protest.
Protesters at Haryana Bhawan in New Delhi
Protesters in Kurukshetra, Haryana
Around 150 members gathered in front of the Haryana Bhavan. They expressed their anger against the central government, Haryana government, state administration and police by raising fierce slogans like “mahilaon par hinsa nahi chalegi! (Violence against women will not be tolerated)”, “Mahilaon ki uthi awaz, hinsa mukt bane samaj! (The women have raised their voices, society shall be free of violence)”, “jahan mahilaon ka ho apmaan, phir kaise ho vo desh mahaan! (How can a country be great, when its women are insulted!)”, “CBSE topper chatra ke balatkarion ko saza do! (Punish the rapists of the CBSE topper)”, “Mukyamantri khattar istifa do! (Chief Minister Khattar should resign)”, “Asleelta, nashakhori par rok lagao! (Put an end to Obscenity and drug abuse)”, “sabhi aropiyon ko giraftaar karne mein nakaam hai, Haryana police bhi mahilaon par badh rahe shoshan ki zimmedaar hai! (The Haryana police has failed to arrest all the accused and is itself also responsible for the increasing exploitation of women)”. The protesters held up placards and banners which had these and other slogans written on them.
The protesting organisations held a public meeting at the venue which was moderated by Sahiba of AIDWA. Representatives of the participating organisations addressed the gathering. Bursting the bubble of the government’s “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” slogan, the speakers held the central and state governments as well as the state administration and police directly responsible for the increasing violence against women and their decreasing security. The speakers strongly condemned the police and state administration for safeguarding the accused rapists and harassing the relatives of the victim.
Speakers talked about the fact that women are raped by political leaders, government officers and army men in different parts of the country. In every such case the state administration is found safeguarding the criminals. Our leaders make big claims about women’s safety. But when such a case happens they start accusing the woman. In these cases the law and justice system also treat the women with cruelty and start trying to save the accused. The police is often in collusion with the criminals and ill-treat the women victim further. In the last few months, in many cases across the country, army men, policemen and MLAs have been accused of rape. However, none of them been subjected to any legal proceedings nor have any of them been punished. The women of the country have lost all faith in the police and the courts of justice.
Spokesperson of Purogami Mahila Sangathan clarified that it does not matter which political party or collision forms the government, all governments have failed in ensuring the safety of women and ensuring justice. It is because in the current political system and process, these governments are not answerable to the people. She called upon those present, to organize and come together with the toiling masses and lead a struggle which would aim to build a new system which would guarantee happiness, safety and livelihood to all!
The speakers included Phinomina from NFIW, Asha Sharma from AIDWA, Kusum from Swastik Mahila Samiti, Renu from Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Sheetal from AIPWA, Ritu Kaushik from AIMSS and Maya from CSW. The meeting finished with group slogans and songs.
At the end of the meeting a delegation of the participating organisations submitted a memorandum to the Haryana government in which they demanded the immediate arrest of the criminals and prompt action against them.
The Jansangarsh Manch, Haryana protested against the rape
On 17th September 2018, the Jansangarsh Manch, Haryana held a public protest against the rape of a female student in Rewari, Haryana. The Jansangarsh Manch, Haryana zila committee staged an angry protest at the old Bus stop terminal in Kurukshetra and burned an effigy of the Chief Minister of Haryana Government against the failure of the police in arresting all the accused, the dispassionate behavior of the Haryana police and failure of the Haryana government in ensuring the safety of women.