On the 4th June at 5:30AM, the crack of dawn, when most of us were still fast asleep, the Delhi police which directly reports to the Home minister, barged into the tents of hapless protestors at Jantar Mantar. Having orders from their top bosses, the policemen tried to forcibly evict the aggrieved protestors. The police shamelessly used brutal force on women & children in their unconstitutional action.
One of the tents that were decimated to ground was of the four rape survivors of Bhagana village from Hisar district in Haryana. The four girls were abducted and raped by village strongmen from the Jaat community on 23rd of March. Since that day, the families of the four girls have been running from pillar to post demanding justice & punishment to the culprits. They have done all that could have been done in a democratic society – filed FIRs, sent memorandums, wrote applications, met government officials, met politicians, MLAs, MPs, the Chief Minister, SC commission, NHRC but to no avail. All their pleadings have fallen on deaf ears.
We’ve seen politicians and so-called Dalit leaders queuing up at Badayun in UP where TV cameras & OB Vans are also doing the rounds. Whereas the spot where the families of Bhagana have been peacefully protesting is not even hundred metres from the Indian Parliament. Ironically, no creature named Paswan, Mayawati or Udit Raj have been ever spotted at Jantar Mantar, Even the electronic media which seems to have taken a fancy for Akhilesh Yadav’s government is no where to be seen in this horrendous case.
Sadly, no political group other than the Aam Aadmi Party seems concerned for justice to the families of Bhagana. The Haryana leadership of the party met the governor on May 15 over the issue and submitted a memorandum demanding justice and proper rehabilitation of the displaced families. Unfortunately, such is the political equation of Haryana that no other political party has shown the courage and sensitivity to stand by the pleading girls and their families. In fact, when the chief minister Bhupinder Singh Huda was asked why the culprits were not punished, he reportedly said, “I’m first a Jaat & then a Chief minister!”
Today, the families face danger to their lives and even fear returning to their own village. They have been sitting at the Jantar Mantar since April 6 hoping someone in the seat of power hears their plea & takes stock of their condition & blatant injustice, which has sadly not happened. Rather, the right to peaceful protest granted by our constitution was outrightly violated by the insensitive state machinery.
It is to be noted that Jantar Mantar is the government designated site for protests. Even the Hon’ble Delhi High court has time and again made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that prohibitory orders against any protest at Jantar Mantar can only be imposed in cases of emergency.
Unfortunate to say, but the first day of 16th Lok Sabha of our new parliament will be remembered as a day of police atrocities, batons, inhumanity & insults to women akin Marshal Law in the very heart of our national capital.
If this is the price I’ve to pay for a pro-development government, a double digit GDP, a billion dollar Forex reserve and a so-called robust economy, I condemn such a government with disdain. To me, material development without Social justice is a complete farce!
Interestingly, June 4 was also the 25th anniversary of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square massacre, which has been one of the most brutal examples of state clamp-down on dissent.
I just hope my country doesn’t end up becoming a free market capitalist China !