India: Human rights groups protest against Shrawasti mass rape

Human Rights organisations from across the state of Uttar Pradesh protest against the alleged mass rape in Shrawasti of 12 Muslim women.
Human Rights organisations from all over the state staged a protest on Tuesday against the alleged mass rape in Shrawasti of 12 Muslim women. They assembled at the GPO Park under the banner of the Bharatiya Mahila Muslim Aandolan.
Talking about the protest, Naish Hasan of the Aandolan said the organisations strongly condemned the alleged mass rape. “The state government has shown its callousness and an inhuman attitude in this case. A boy and a girl fall in love, for which some 12 women are raped and a number of boys are beaten up. This is so communal because an entire community is being punished for nothing. And then, the police did not even lodge their complaints for three days and the poor women were made to run from pillar to post,” said Hasan. She added that the state government, which claims to be the protector of every group, has proved that it too has a communal face.

Others who expressed their opinions included Dr Naseem, Quddus Hashmi, Shaista Amber of the All-India Muslim Women’s Personal Law Board, Naaz Raza, Dr Sabira Habib, Shehnaz Sidrat, Shaqeel Siddiqui, Kriti Prakash and Rehmatunnissa, amongst others. Organisations supporting the protest included Bazme Khwateen, AIDWA, Jamietul Ulemay Hind Council, Muslim Forum, PDF, Sunni Council, Bharatiya Awam society and the Muslim Samaj.

Apart from the protest gathering, some organisations also conducted a fact-finding exercise to find out details of the incident. The fact-finding team included Risha Syed and Manjari Chandra from AALI, Ravi Jeena, Puneet from Jan Vikas Sansthan and Shakeela from Aghaz-e-Insaaf. They spoke to the victims’ families, the residents of Dhanni Deeh village, the commissioner of the Devi Patan division and also medical officer Dr Rabia Sultana.

Based on their findings, the organisations have suggested that there is a need to mobilise public opinion to ensure that the state at least acknowledges the crime and bodies like the State Human Rights Commission; the State Women’s Commission and the State Minorities commission should intervene in the matter.

17 July 2007

Express News Service