Jana Sena chief and actor Pawan Kalyan held a silent protest on Necklace Road in Hyderabad against the horrific rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl from Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a video message that was put out before the leader left for the protest, Pawan Kalyan says non-violence cannot be the response to crimes against women and children.
“Non-violence will not work on these occasions. To save our women, violence is required. Eve-teasers (euphemism for stalkers and sexual harassers) and women harassers should be publicly whipped like in Singapore. That’s how criminals will fear committing any crime against women,” he says.
Taking exception to the criticism that crimes against women are largely influenced by films, he says, “Often people say that there is an increase in crimes against women due to films. Did the rape in Kathua happen because of the influence of films?”
The actor-turned-politician went on to urge the Centre and state governments to draft efficient laws to safeguard women.
Significantly, Pawan Kalyan, who snapped ties with saffron party over the Special Category status, chose not to criticise the BJP over the Kathua rape and murder. Several political parties and activists have slammed the saffron party after two BJP ministers – Lal Singh Chaudhuary and Chander Prakash- participated in a rally defending the rape. The two ministers were sacked on Friday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence over the rape cases in Kathua and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, promising to not spare those guilty of the crime.
There has been nation-wide outrage over the rape of two minor girls in J&K and Uttar Pradesh, with several groups and citizens protesting against the crimes.
In January, an eight-year-old girl went missing while grazing horses in Rassana forest in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua. A week later, her raped and battered body was recovered. Investigations revealed she was held captive in a temple and was sedated before being repeatedly raped and murdered.
In Unnao, a 17-year-old was raped last year allegedly by BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar, who was named in a CBI FIR and questioned on Friday.
The incident came to light after the victim tried to set herself ablaze outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's residence on Sunday.
The family has alleged that the police refused to file an FIR. The victim's father died after being allegedly beaten by the MLA's brother and aides at a police station.
(With IANS inputs)