Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end the crisis of justice for women and children, saying what is happening to "our daughters" across India is a matter of national shame.
Reacting to the Hathras incident and other cases of sexual assaults on women in the country, Mr Satyarthi said he implores the Prime Minister to lead the war on rape.
"What is happening to our daughters across India is a matter of national shame. It is my humble appeal to our Hon'ble Prime Minister - the nation looks to you - to end this crisis of justice for our women and children. I implore you to lead the war on rape. Our daughters need you, and we are all with you," he told news agency Press Trust of India.
Calling for a people's movement to break "this mindset" of violence, Mr Satyarthi said we need both compassionate political will and people's action to bring an end to the culture of rape.
"We are lacking in a basic sense of humanity and compassion. We have failed to protect our daughters and hold our sons accountable for their actions. Our daughters can no longer continue to pay the price of our failure to bring up our sons right. It will take a people's movement to break this mindset of violence," he said.
In 2017, we led the Bharat Yatra across over 11,000 kms and 24 states and Union Territories where lakhs marched to demand a Rape-Free India. Since then we have seen the government take strong steps with stringent punishment being introduced. The Supreme Court passed directions for setting up of exclusive fast-track courts. But to bring an end to this culture of rape, we need both compassionate political will and people's action, the Nobel laureate said.
The recent case of violence and alleged rape of a Dalit woman in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh has led to nationwide protests and agitations. The 19-year-old woman was allegedly raped at a village in Hathras by four men on September 14 and referred on Monday to a Delhi hospital in an extremely critical condition with spinal injuries, paralysis and cuts in her tongue. She breathed her last on Tuesday at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital.
Her body was cremated in the early hours of Wednesday, with her family alleging that the local police forced them to conduct the last rites in the dead of the night.
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