The father of Varnika Kundu, an IAS officer Virendra Kundu is standing up for his daughter with pride and a message. “We promise all the people and the groups supporting us that WE SHALL NOT, EVER, BACK OUT OR STAND DOWN, irrespective of hardships or pressures.”

In a detailed social media post he said he was not going to be scared of politicians, even though as an IAS office this case would shake things up for him. His Facebook post said he’s “proud” of Varnika for taking on “the worst form of chauvinism” in society. Varnika Kundu went public with details of how she was harassed in Chandigarh in the middle of the night by a Haryana BJP leader’s son in Chandigarh.

We will not interfere with the investigation or the prosecution, just as we do not want the accused to influence the investigation in any way. The police and prosecution should be allowed to do their job. We will join investigation whenever required by the police. We will contest in the court if we feel the charges are diluted or inadequately framed .

Our target is to ensure that the guilty are brought to book. They are adult men, students of law, who are fully aware of the consequences of their actions, and hence must be appropriately punished. We want them to be punished for the offences they have actually committed, and awarded punishment commensurate with their culpability. Not over punished, but definitely not under punished either.

It is unfortunate that the families of the accused have to face hardship. We do not hold them responsible for the crimes of these men.

We firmly believe that after 70 years of independence and democracy, the legal system of our country is mature and geared up to deliver justice. Dispensation of justice should not require anything from the complainant except that she speak the truth at all times, and does not back out. We promise that. The protection and prevention system of chandigarh police works, and Varnika is alive and safe today as a proof of its working. We expect the judicial system to work just as well.

In a cut and dried case like this, where there is nothing hazy or unclear in terms of actions or identities, if the system fails to deliver justice, then there is something deeply rotten in our society, our government and our country. Then we all need to look into ourselves, question our honesty as well as patriotism, and see where we have led our country to.

In my mind, the issue is not of Varnika being assaulted or two specific criminals to be punished. The issue is, does our country allow a woman to live as a free and equal citizen, and if she is wronged, does it give her enough confidence to even claim justice? If not, we are no better than a lawless, barbaric society.