13:45, April 17 241 0 theguardian.com

2018-04-17 13:45:28
Modi’s government fails to act on rape

In the context of Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK, we are deeply shocked at the gut-wrenching violence against women and children in India being defended by politicians of Modi’s ruling Hindu rightwing party, the BJP.

Hindu extremists, or their associates, stand implicated in rape and murder while some BJP leaders actively mobilise to defend them and undermine the rule of law (Reports, 12 April and 17 April).

In Kathua, in Jammu and Kashmir state, eight-year old Asifa was horrifically gang raped and murdered in a Hindu temple by a group of men, in order to terrorise the nomadic Muslim Bakarwal community she belonged to. There followed violent protests in defence of the accused by a pro-Modi Hindu rightwing outfit the Hindu Ekta Manch. At least two BJP ministers took part in these protests. In Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, ruled by the BJP’s notorious hate preacher Yogi Adityanath, a 16-year-old girl was raped. When her family protested after almost a year of inaction by the police, her father was brutally assaulted. by Sengar’s supporters, arrested on a false case and died in police custody.

Narendra Modi’s long silence was only broken on 13 April in the face of mass protests in Delhi. He promised justice to “daughters” but refused to utter the word “rape” let alone recognise the role of his own party supporters in perpetrating and celebrating such horrors. The media must question Modi about the involvement of his party members in these atrocities and his government’s effective sanctioning of rapes, attacks on minorities and lawlessness.

Sarah Green Co-director, End Violence Against Women Coalition

Vivienne Hayes CEO Women’s Resource Centre

Marai Larasi Director, Imkaan

Anber Raz Co-chair Imkaan

Gurpreet Virdee Director, Women and Girls Network

Camille Kumar Women’s and Girls Network, Rape Crisis Centre West London

Baljit Banga Director, London Black Women’s Project

Anjum Mouj Chair, London Black Women’s Project

Pragna Patel Director Southall Black Sisters

Sabrina Qureshi Million Women Rise Movement

Sarbjit Johal Freedom Without Fear Platform

Rachel Moran Executive director SPACE International

Nirmala Rajasingam South Asia Solidarity Group

Taranjit Chana GMB Union Race

Dipti Morjharia London Black Women’s Project

Yasmin Rehman Feminist and human rights activist

Meena Kandasamy Novelist and activist

Tabitha Benjamin Singer- songwriter

Amrit Wilson Writer and activist

Rahila Gupta Journalist and activist

Rosie Woods Harrow Momentum

Jaiti Sharma Harrow Labour party 

Priya Sharma Harrow Labour party

Professor Shirin M Rai University of Warwick

Professor Avtar Brah Birkbeck, University of London

Professor Nira Yuval Davis University of East London

Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya University of East London

Dr Kalpana Wilson Birkbeck University of London

Dr Shakuntala Banaji London School of Economics

Dr Meena Dhanda University of Wolverhampton

Dr Sumi Madhok London School of Economics

Dr Anandi Ramamurthy Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Goldie Osuri University of Warwick

Dr Rashmi Varma University of Warwick

Dr Alessandra Mezzadri Soas, University of London

Professor S. Sayyid University of Leeds

Dr Navtej Purewal Soas, University of London

Dr Feyzi Ismail Soas, University of London

Dr Rinella Cere Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Katy Sian University of York

Dr Marsha Henry London School of Economics 

Dr Sukhwant Dhaliwal London Metropolitan University

Dr. Ravi K. Thiara University of Warwick

Dr. Fiona Vera-Gray University of Durham

Dr Josie Phillips University of Durham

Dr Penny Vera-Sanso Birkbeck, University of London

Dr Deepta Chopra Institute of Development Studies

Dr Jennifer Ung Loh Independent scholar

Dr Joanna Lovett London Metropolitan University

Dr Churnjeet Mahn University of Strathclyde

Dr Yasmin Gunaratnam Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Gail Lewis, Birkbeck University of London

Dr Iona Szeman University of Roehampton

Dr Nisha Kapoor University of York

Dr Bethan Harries University of Manchester

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