Perpetrators of Unnao, Kathua rapes shouldn't be 'glorified': PFI

PFI said the rapes in Kathua and Unnao were an ugly reminder of how women's safety is still a critical issue and not a top priority in the country.

Terming the Kathua and Unnao rape incidents as "violent acts to subjugate, humiliate and instil fear", the Population Foundation of India (PFI) has asked the government to ensure that the perpetrators are neither "shielded nor glorified".

PFI is a body advocating the effective formulation of a gender-sensitive population.

Executive chairperson, PFI, Poonam Muttreja, has demanded that the government must act to ensure that the women in the country do not feel "insecure" and "unsafe".

In Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district, an eight-year-old girl was abducted, raped and killed, while a minor girl in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district had said that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, and her father was killed in police custody after he refused to withdraw the FIR.

"What happened in Kathua and Unnao are violent acts to subjugate, humiliate and instil fear. The government should condemn such atrocities, and ensure that the perpetrators are neither shielded nor glorified.

"Justice has to be delivered before it is too late, or else, we will only have an escalation of such acts of violence. We owe it to the victims of Kathua and Unnao and to every girl and woman of our country," Muttreja said.

The PFI said it has been running a year-long campaign called 'Bas Ab Bahut Hogaya' (enough is enough) to end violence against girls and women, along with actor Farhan Akhtar's initiative 'Men against Rape and Discrimination' or 'MARD' and noted filmmaker Feroz Abbas Khan.

Muttreja, along with Akhtar, also wrote a letter recently decrying the rapes and demanding action.

PFI said the rapes in Kathua and Unnao were an ugly reminder of how women's safety is still a critical issue and not a top priority in the country.

The last time India reverberated with cries to make the country safer was when 'Nirbhaya' was gang-raped in the national capital in 2012, it said in a statement.

Nirbhaya (the fearless) was a 23-year-old paramedic student who was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012, and a fortnight later, on December 29, she succumbed in a Singapore hospital.

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