Modi breaks silence over Unnao, Kathua rape cases, says ‘daughters will get justice’
New Delhi: In his first comments on the gruesome incidents of rape in Unnao and Kathua, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called them as a “shame” for the country and asserted that the guilty will not be spared and daughters will get justice.
Expressing anguish over the two incidents which have triggered widespread outrage, the prime minister said such crimes challenge the very concept of social justice “and as a society and a country we all are ashamed of it.”
“I want to assure the nation that no criminal will be spared. Justice will be done. Our daughters will get justice. We all will have to work together to end this internal evil,” he said at an event to inaugurate the B.R. Ambedkar memorial in Delhi.
Modi’s remarks came amid mounting attacks by the opposition against the BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir alleging shielding of the accused due to political pressure.
Social justice is not a lip service for the government but a commitment, “but the kind of incidents we have seen in the past challenge the very concept of social justice”, said Modi. “It is an insult to the sacrifice made by the freedom fighters who gave their future for the nation.”
The prime minister recalled one of his independence day speeches in which he had asked parents to question sons and not only the girls. “We will have to strengthen family systems, social values and justice delivery system,” he said.
In Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district, a BJP MLA and his brother have been accused of raping a minor and beating up her father who later died of injuries while in custody. Amid heightened public anger, the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar on Friday night on the directions of the Allahabad high court.
The Kathua rape case relates to an eight-year-old girl from the nomadic Bakerwal Muslim community who had disappeared from near her home in a village near Kathua in the Jammu region on 10 January. Her body was found in the same area a week later. A special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe the incident has arrested eight people, including two special police officers and a head constable, who was charged with destroying evidence.
Jammu has been on tenterhooks since the brutal rape and murder. The city’s bar association has opposed the action against the accused and alleged that minority Dogras were being targeted.