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BJP legislator and Unnao MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar speaks with the press after meeting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow April 9. Sengar is accused of gangraping a 17-year-old girl. (IANS photo)

Indian Overseas Congress, USA joins millions of Indian Americans and non-resident Indians across the globe in condemning the horrific rape and murder of an eight-year-old child, Asifa Bano, in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua. The barbarity and the bestiality involved in the killing of this little girl show the depraved and criminal mindsets of those who perpetrated such heinous acts. The ghastly way this girl was raped and murdered has indeed shaken the nation to its core and terrorized people of conscience across the world. Police reports indicate Asifa was locked inside a temple and repeatedly raped for three days and finally strangled to death. A police charge sheet also said before her head was bashed with a stone, one of the assailants – a police officer – had asked the killer to wait so he could rape the child for one last time.

Days before this horrific murder was reported, another young girl from Unnao in U.P. had tried to commit suicide outside Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s house. She said she had been raped by BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his brother a year ago. A day later, her father, who had been mercilessly thrashed for his refusal to withdraw the case, died.

Holding him responsible for the “terrifying state of affairs,” 49 retired civil servants, in an open letter urged Prime Minister Modi to reach out to the families of the Kathua and Unnao rape victims to “seek their forgiveness.”

The United Nations has termed the rape and murder of the girl as horrific.

It is indeed the growing culture of violence emanating out of the wrong-headed sense of ultra-nationalism and majoritarian arrogance that is polarizing the communities and dividing the nation.

We call upon the Modi government to stop paying lip service with slogans like “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” and provide true leadership in bringing the perpetrators of this pervasive rape and abuse of women culture across the country to justice, regardless of their party affiliations, and oust any government official who remains a stumbling block to that effort.

George Abraham

Vice-Chairman,

Indian Overseas Congress, USA

Via E-mail

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