The aftermath of the Unnao rape case has left the UP police fielding questions regarding the safety of women and girls in the state. The woman who had accused MLA Kuldeep Sengar of raping her, was severely injured along with her family members in a road accident recently. While the nation came together not only to support the survivor, there is widespread concern about the safety of women in the state. The UP police had to face these questions recently, that too at hands of school-going girls.
A class 11 student questioned police officials about their handling of the Unnao rape case, during an awareness campaign which was organised at her school in Uttar Pradesh. “What is the guarantee that nothing like this can happen to me?”, the girl asked. The police officials were all stunned when the girl questioned them about her safety. Police officials, including the Additional Superintendent of Police (North) RS Gautam, were at the Anand Bhawan school in Barabanki to speak at a ‘Balika Suraksha Jaagruktaa Abhiyaan’, a safety awareness campaign for girls.
“What is the guarantee that nothing like this can happen to me?” asked a class 11 student.
RS Gautam, the Additional Superintendent of Police (North), had said during the campaign that the girls should remain alert and if they feel unsafe, they need to immediately call the toll free number. Over this, the girl who is being identified as Muniba Kidwai by NDTV questioned if they would get justice if the man involved would be someone influential like the BJP MLA accused in the Unnao case.
Restating the Unnao Rape Case and the accident that took place, the girl said, “Everyone knows it was no accident. The truck number plate was painted black…It is one thing to protest when an ordinary person is involved, but what happens when the person is someone powerful?” She further asked, “If the person against whom we are complaining comes to know about it, and if we meet an accident, what will happen? Will I get justice on registering a protest because we know a teen was raped by a BJP leader, and when she was fighting the legal battle, she met an accident. She is now battling for her life.”, she added.
There was no action taken, and even if there was, nothing came of it. Now that girl is in a hospital, in a critical condition. Will we get justice? What is the guarantee that I will remain safe? – Muniba Kidwai
She even questioned the police’s handling of the case and said, “There was no action taken, and even if there was, nothing came of it. Now that girl is in a hospital, in a critical condition. Will we get justice? What is the guarantee that I will remain safe? What is the guarantee nothing like this could happen to me?”
‘All complainants to toll-free number would be provided help’
While Muniba’s questions gained applause from her fellow schoolmates in the audience, the police once again gave a vague response to her queries saying, “All complaints to the toll-free number would be provided help”. Bhavika Mishra (name changed), a student from Unnao says, ” What about the time between I call for help and the authorities reach me? If I feel unsafe I’ll surely call the toll free number but we all know that even a minute is enough to do anything evil with me. Who is going to ensure my safety then? Why don’t we just make the laws so stringent that people don’t even think of committing any crime against us?”
After the accident, the rape survivor and her lawyer remain in a critical condition. Her aunt and another woman relative, who were in the car with them succumbed to their injuries.
Image Credit: Huffington Post
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