New Delhi, Oct 2 (PTI) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday joined the protest at Jantar Mantar against the alleged gang-rape and murder of a woman in Hathras, and demanded strictest punishment for the accused while asserting that politics should not be done over the issue.
Kejriwal, who joined a protest for the first time since he became chief minister for the third time, said this is a fight for justice for the victim's family.
'There should be no politics on the matter, it is not ethical to play politics on this. When one says a rape has happened in Uttar Pradesh, another person says a rape has also happened in Rajasthan. This is no argument. Why should such incidents of rape happen in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan? Why should they happen in Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai, and Delhi? 'They are our daughters, whether, from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata or Bangalore. No incident of rape should happen anywhere in the country. All of us, all the governments, parties, and people of the country, must create a system that keeps our daughters safe. There should be no politics on the matter,' he said while addressing the protesters.
Kejriwal said the entire country wants that the accused should get the strictest punishment.
'We are in a deep pit. I am not here to give a speech, we pray to God for our daughter to rest in peace. The whole country would like to appeal to the Uttar Pradesh government that the culprits be given stringent punishment and must be hanged till death.
'They should be given the harshest punishment so that nobody in the world tries to repeat such an act. Some people have been feeling that attempts are being made to save the culprits and the whole incident is being covered up. This is wrong,' he said.
The chief minister said 'what happened is very painful and a gruesome act has been meted out against the victim who lost her life at the end.' 'The FIR for rape was not lodged for many days, proper treatment was not given to her, and her body was cremated at night going against the Hindu customs. Several actions have made people believe that the whole incident and the culprits are being shielded. The culprits must be punished,' he said.
The chief minister said the behaviour which the family of the victim is being subjected to is not right.
'The behaviour that the family is being subjected to is not right. At this point, all that the family needs is peace and they should be set free so that they can meet whoever they want to,' he said.
Kejriwal was joined by party MLAs Atishi and Somnath Bharti and AAP functionary Durgesh Pathak and minister Rajender Pal Gautam at the protest, attended by civil society activists, students, women and members of various political organisations.
'Media and the BJP are repeatedly asking why are the people protesting against the Hathras rape case. Lakhs of people gathered at India Gate to demand justice for Nirbhaya, while there were many rape incidents even before Nirbhaya and even after Nirbhaya,' AAP's chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said.
'The reason that the people have joined today in huge numbers is that in this rape case of Hathras, every officer of the administration, whether it was SHO, DM, DSP, ADG, or chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, everybody is trying to save the accused starting right from September 14 till today,' he added.
His views were echoed by Delhi WCD Minister Rajender Pal Gautam.
'The atrocities against Dalit did not stop in Hathras, they again happened in Bhadohi, Azamgarh, Baghpat and Bulandshahar. Dalits are facing atrocities every 13 minutes. It seems like Dalits are not treated as humans in this country. In the Hathras case, police tried to destroy evidence by cremating the victim's body and the family is held captive and their phones have been snatched,' he said.
The body of the 19-year-old Dalit woman, who died in Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital, a fortnight after she was gang-raped, was cremated in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, 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.
Local police officers, however, had said the cremation was carried out 'as per the wishes of the family. PTI GJS UZM BUN GJS TDS TDS