People have been outraged that after five days the police had not yet identified the perpetrators

How Kerala is rising up in fury against Dalit girls rape and murder Protest at Kerala University
news Kerala Rape Tuesday, May 03, 2016 - 17:28

Kerala has been shocked by the brutality of the rape and murder of Jisha, 30-year-old LLB student from Perumbavoor, seeing in it a chilling sequel to the Nirbhaya rape case in New Delhi.

As more details of the shocking incident made their way into public attention, protests have broken out across the state.

Adding to the shock of the incident, has been the outrage over the fact that even after five days since her murder, the police force in the state had not identified the perpetrators, and not even a single arrest was made till Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, a massive protest was staged in front of the Kerala Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram, seeking justice for Jisha. Leading the charge were women media persons, women activists and members of women’s wings of different political parties. The central issues raised in the protest were concerns about the safety of women and the indifference of police and public towards attacks against women. 

Protest at the Kerala Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram: Reporter TV

Actor and women’s rights activist, Parvathy T, who participated in the protest, told The News Minute, “What happened in Jisha‘s case clearly shows us the attitude of government authorities and the administration towards people who are marginalised and do not possess any money or power. The news about her murder initially came as a small column in one of the local newspapers. Can you imagine that? People are watching all this. If strict action is not taken against the murderers, it might encourage others to commit similar heinous crimes."

Highlighting the slogan, ”Freedom. Equality. Pride”, students of Kerala University also came out in protest on Tuesday. Krishna, a professor of Philosophy at Kerala University, inaugurated the march by breaking earthen pots. The group alleged that the legal system and successive women’s commissions had not done enough to guarantee women the rights they deserve.

Further, students from Sanskrit University in Kerala also undertook a protest march from Kaladi to Perumbavoor.

Poster for the protest by students of Sanskrit University: Facebook/ LibinThathappilly

Another group, including students from the Ernakulam Law College, where Jisha was pursuing her LLB, organised a protest march on the afternoon of May 3, from High court junction to Vanji Square in Ernakulam district. 

Poster for protest in Ernakulam: Facebook/Justice For Jisha
Meanwhile, students from the University of Hyderabad also organised a protest meeting on May 3.

Online too, the outrage against the brutal rape and murder is spreading. “Justice for Jisha”, a Facebook page, has garnered the support of around 5,800 members and the group has requested its members to protest against the gruesome murder of Jisha by lighting candles in each house, in each neighbourhood on May 4 at 8 pm. 

Much of the online outrage has built up particularly after the horrifying details of Jisha's murder emerged from the post-mortem report, as people took to social media to express their anger and protest over the injustice and political inaction.

#JusticeForJisha has been trending on various social media platforms and with the Kerala assembly elections just round the corner, people have been pointing out the apathy shown by political leaders in the state. The media were not spared either. Social media users have blamed the media for the improper and late coverage of the brutal murder. Many people have also spoken out against the ‘unresponsive and selfish nature of society’. 

What has particularly enraged women protestors and activists, they say, is the slow official and media response to the incident. Sarah Joseph, author and Aam Aadmi Party member, for instance, said, “What happened to Jisha is deeply saddening. A girl was murdered in her own house. What kind of country are we living in? And the news about her murder came out only after the social media outrage. What were the police officials and media doing all these days?”

She added that such incidents in the past had revealed the anti-women mindset in society. “From the Suryanelli case to Nirbhaya, we saw a lot of people questioning the behaviour of the girl. Why was she out during night time? Why was she with a guy? Why was she wearing a certain kind of clothing? — these are questions that we frequently hear when such cases emerge.” Instead, she said, “Our society needs to stand up against such grave injustice done to women.”


Read: എനിക്കറിയുന്ന ഒരു തെമ്മാടിയുണ്ട്, ജിഷയുടെ കൊലപാതകത്തിന് ഉത്തരവാദി അവനാണ്

Read: Kerala’s rape problem: The alarming numbers from India’s most literate state

Read: After social media outrage, Kerala’s politicos join chorus condemning Jisha’s rape


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