Speaking at the inauguration of the Ambedkar Memorial in New Delhi, the prime minister said that the “guilty” will not be spared. He asserted that “daughters will get justice”, and the government will ensure that happens.
The incidents in the past two days are an embarrassment to the civilised society. We bow our head before the founding figures of the nation. No culprit will be spared, justice will be delivered. Those daughters will get due justice; all of us have to fix the problem together. The guilty will not go unpunished and the Government of India will not leave any stone unturned to ensure that happens.Narendra Modi, Prime Minister
Pressured into Making a Statement?
The Prime Minister’s statement comes after the Opposition led by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, and various sections of media pointed to his silence and demanded that he make a statement.
Just hours before Modi’s statement, the Gandhi scion hit out at the PM over his silence on violence against women and children, saying it was "unacceptable" and India was waiting for him to speak up.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday, 13 April, urged incumbent state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to take stringent action against the BJP ministers who are supporting the accused in the Kathua rape case.
Protests Erupt Across the Country
The Congress president led a midnight candle-light vigil on Thursday protesting against the two rape cases.
A day later, on Friday, 13 April, citizens gathered in Mumbai’s Azad Maidan protesting the incidents of rape, and demanded that the prime minister take immediate action. In Bengaluru too, people took to the streets demanding that the the PM speaks up.
What Happened in Kathua & Unnao?
The chargesheet filed by the J&K police in the Kathua rape case that took place in January revealed that an eight-year-old Muslim girl was held captive in Hindu temple, sedated, raped repeatedly, bludgeoned to death and discarded in a forest by three men.
Lawyers in Jammu and Hindu Ekta Manch members are rallying behind the accused, with two BJP MLAs seen waving the Tricolour as they marched in defence of the accused.
Politicians and lawmakers tried to stop the police from filing a chargesheet in the case, trying to further communalise the issue.
In Unnao, an 18-year-old girl along with her family, tried to immolate herself outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s house on 8 April. The girl alleged that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in 2017.
Her father was taken into custody under the Arms Act on 5 April, after allegedly being beaten up by Sengar’s brother and his men. He died in police custody on 9 April.
While in the Unnao case, the CBI has initiated a probe on Thursday, in the Kathua case, those defending the accused are demanding a CBI probe, alleging bias in the J&K Police’s investigation.
(This story was first published at 10 am on 13 April 2018. It was updated at 7:55 PM on the same day with comments made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi)