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Rahul Gandhi: Rahul Gandhi to lead midnight candlelight march to protest Unnao, Kathua rape cases | India News

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NEW DELHI: Amid widespread outrage over the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has appealed to people to join him for a candlelight vigil at India Gate at midnight as a protest against sexual violence against women.

“Like millions of Indians my heart hurts tonight. India simply cannot continue to treat its women the way it does. Join me in a silent, peaceful, candlelight vigil at India Gate at midnight tonight to protest this violence and demand justice,” Rahul said in a tweet.

Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said a candlelight march will be taken out at 12 am from the DPCC office to India Gate. Delhi Congress workers will join Gandhi in the protest, reported PTI.

Earlier today, Rahul had taken to Twitter to condemn the politics over the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old Bakerwal girl in J&K’s Kathua district. Terming the crime as one of “unimaginable brutality” that cannot go unpunished, Rahul wondered how anybody can seek to protect the culprits.

“How can anyone protect the culprits of such evil? What happened to Asifa at Kathua is a crime against humanity. It cannot go unpunished. What have we become if we allow politics to interfere with such unimaginable brutality perpetrated on an innocent child?” he tweeted.

Investigation has revealed that the minor was held in a temple, drugged, repeatedly gang-raped and finally murdered to scare the Muslim Bakerwal community out of the village. Police have arrested arrested eight people, including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a head constable, who was charged with destroying evidence.

J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti today promised there will be no obstruction of justice following protest by the Jammu Bar Association against the handling of the case by the crime branch and demand for a CBI probe into it.

“The law will not be obstructed by the irresponsible actions and statements of a group of people. Proper procedures are being followed, investigations are on fast track and justice will be delivered,” Mufti said in a tweet.

The Congress party also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his silence over the rape cases and prodded him to speak up over incidents of violence against women in BJP-ruled states.

“Prime Minister is silent over the incidents of rape in Unnao and Kathua. Why don’t you fast against incidents of rape? And tell the people that you are feeling bad about the incidents of rape and so you are fasting,” senior leader Kapil Sibal jibed.

The J&K government today appointed two special public prosecutors (SPPs), both Sikhs, for the trial in the sensitive Kathua rape and murder case.

“This was done to ensure speedy conduct and ensure focussed attention to the case,” a senior official said.

Asked whether two Sikh officers were engaged as SPPs to ensure “neutrality” in view of Hindu-Muslim polarisation over the case, DGP Vaid said “please do not think on religious lines. It has not been done. Police does not think in terms of Hindu or Muslim or Sikh”.

Updated: April 12, 2018 — 5:22 pm

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