Thousands of Mumbaikars gather at Bandra to demand justice for Kathua, Unnao rape victims

Thousands of Mumbaikars gather at Bandra to demand justice for Kathua, Unnao rape victims
Mumbaikars turned up in large numbers to demand justice for the victims (Picture Courtesy: Danish Husain, She The People, Kajal Bhavsar, SufiyanaSoul, AAP)

Thousands of Mumbaikars, including a number of celebrities, gathered in Bandra on Sunday for a peaceful protest to demand justice for the victims in the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, which have sparked a nation-wide outrage.

The cases pertained to the barbaric rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu & Kashmir, and sexual assault of another young girl in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.

Bollywood celebrities like Rajkummar Rao, Patralekha, Sameera Reddy, Twinkle Khanna along with her son Arav, Akshay Kumar, actress Tara Sharma, music director Vishal Dadlani, singer and social activist Sona Mohapatra, filmmaker Kiran Rao, Aditi Rao Hydari, veteran actress Helen were among many others who came on the streets of Carter Road in Bandra to protest against the incidents of rape and seek justice.

Many were seen holding placards and posters that read #JusticeForAsifa. A number enraged protestors also raised slogans demanding death sentence for the perpetrators in order to set a precedent.

Some young girls were also present at the gathering holding posters that read: “This is not just rape, this is genocide with state support”. Another placard read, “Before having a Swachh Bharat, we want a safe Bharat.”

Veteran actor Helen, who was present at the protest, told reporters, “I’m ashamed, I’m sad. I have no words to tell you… It’s horrifying. What will be the punishment? “After a few days, they will make you forget about it. What can we do? The higher authorities should come forward.”

Aditi Rao Hydari, who was seen holding a placard with a message ‘Politicians/Police/Court help citizens, not rapists’, said, “Till we do something, change won’t happen.”

Vishal Dadlani said: “We want to stop this nonsense now… we want action and we want it now! Once the man is accused and guilty of raping and killing a baby girl, he should be hanged then and then.”

“Our gathering shows that we as a community stand for the cause; there is a helplessness that we all feel and therefore we are standing here. We want justice,” said Sona Mohapatra.

Several Bollywood actresses like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhaskar, Sonam Kapoor, Shruti Seth and Mini Mathur also held placards asking for justice for the eight-year-old girl, who was kidnapped, sedated, starved, gang-raped and murdered in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Apart from Mumbai, several massive protests were held other cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam among others.

While many protests took a political turn, with opposition parties slamming the BJP-led Central Government for its inability to enact swift justice, a majority of protests remained apolitical and were spearheaded by activists or citizens.

The Cases:

An eight-year-old girl was raped and killed in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. A Special Investigation Team has arrested eight people, including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a Head Constable, in connection with the horrific incident.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao, a teenage girl alleged she was raped by ruling BJP legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who has been arrested by the CBI, which is probing the case.

With agency inputs

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