Protest gatherings, marches and programmes erupted across the country today (March 15, 2018) against the rape and murder of Asifa Banu in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir.
A social media collective held a protest march against the rape and murder of Asifa Banu in Tirur, Malappuram district, Kerala. Protesters holding placards that read ‘Justice for Asifa’ raised slogans and marched towards Ring Road, Tirur. The protest demanded that the culprits be punished and had song recitals against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) agenda of establishing a Hindu nation.
United Against Hate, an independent organization, held protests in Faizabad, Bhilai, Kanpur, Allahabad, Rudauli, Bhadohi, Amroha, Gorakhpur, Lucknow and Patna demanding justice for Asifa Banu and Unnao survivor with the agenda that the fight against fascism and patriarchy should be intensified.
Ernakulam District Committee of student political organization, Campus Front of India, held a protest against the rape and murder of Asifa Banu in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir. The students holding placards saying ‘Justice for Asifa’ created a human chain urging authorities to put an end to the annihilation of Muslims in Aluva, Ernakulam, Kerala.
At Nandan, Kolkata, West Bengal, in front of the Ambedkar statue, protestors burnt Manusmriti, one of the Hindu texts used to propagate hatred against women. Lit candles were held with placards saying ‘Justice for Asifa’ in front of Press Club, Kolkata. Gatherings and speeches were held in College Street as well.
Asifa Banu, an 8 year old Muslim girl was abducted, raped and murdered in Kathua in January. She was drugged and kept captive in a Hindu temple where she was repeatedly raped. Her body was abandoned in the forest after the murder. Widespread protests had erupted in the country after things escalated following the arrest of 8 accused in the case. The motive, as per the chargesheet filed by the police and according to one of the accused is stated to be to drive away the Muslim nomadic tribe of Bakerwals from the land owned by Hindus. Following the arrest, right wing Hindu groups had taken out rallies in support of the accused. Among the arrested are two police officers who tried to bury the case. Hindu lawyers of the court had disrupted the filing of the chargesheet and had called for a bandh (shut down).
Unnao survivor had earlier attempted suicide in front of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath demanding the arrest of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kuldeep Sengar. After protests intensified, Sengar was arrested yesterday and sent to 7 day Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody today.