The Kathua Judgement

The judgment of a sessions court of Pathankot sentencing three of the accused in the rape and murder of a minor girl of the Bakarwal community in the district of Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir to life imprisonment and giving five years' imprisonment to three policemen for destroying evidence must be welcomed by all Indians with normal human sensibilities, although it may be debated whether capital punishment should not have been given to the main culprits. One episode related to the case is that a BJP-backed organization named Hindu EktaManch stood in support of the accused. This organization demanded a CBI probe, but never tried to console the victim's family nor promised any help, which only indicated its approval of the rape and murder. Another event meriting attention is that Dipika Singha Rajawat, a lawyer representing the parents of the victim, was constantly abused and even called a deshadrohi. Thus it becomes apparent that within the BJP- brand of patriotism, even gang rape and murder of a minor girl can be accommodated, if the victim is a non-Hindu. The lawyer who defied threats and abuses with courage should receive warm congratulations from all sorts of democrats. The judge who was not swayed by the cry of the so-called EktaManch also deserves unstinted praise. What is, however, worrying is that such sort of beastly communalism is ingrained among a not inconsiderable section of the majority community. The other cause of anxiety is that the culprits' backers will try every means at their disposal to influence higher courts and to have the judgment overturned. One only hopes that they will not succeed.


Vol. 51, No. 51, Jun 23 - 29, 2019