A team from the NIA Jammu Branch nabbed 22-year-old Zakir Hussain of district Kathua, the eighth accused to be arrested in the case after taking over the case from the Kathua Police.
Kamal Haasan strongly condemned the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu-Kashmir. The Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) president took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the case that has drawn the ire of people of the entire country.
“Does it have 2 b ur own daughter fr u 2 understand? She could’ve been mine. I feel angry as a man, father & a citizen fr failing —. I m sorry my child v didn’t make this country safe enough fr U. I’ll fight fr justice at least fr future kids like u. V mourn u & won’t forget u,” he wrote on the social media site.
Haasan is one of the many prominent voices which have condemned the horrific incident. On Thursday, Bollywood celebrities such as Richa Chadha, Farhan Akhtar and others like tennis star Sania Mirza were among those who slammed the alleged rapists and those who have been defending them using the ‘Hindu’ card.
Protests broke out in the national capital on Thursday over the incident, the details of which shook the nation.
A number of women and students organisations held a demonstration at Parliament Street on Thursday to protest against both the Kathua and Unnao outrages and to demand justice for their victims and their families.
The Unnao case pertains to the involvement of a BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in the alleged gang-rape of a teenage girl in Unnao and the subsequent custodial death of her father in the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh.
Scores of members of these organisations – including the AIDWA, NFIW, Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan, JNUSU, SFI and AISA – carrying placards raised slogans accusing the BJP governments of allegedly protecting the accused in both the Kathua and Unnao cases.
Speaking to The Statesman, Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan general secretary Poonam Kaushik said, “We demand immediate arrest of BJP MLA Sengar. Victims in Kathua and Unnao rape cases should get justice.”
All India Students Association (AISA) state secretary Neeraj Kumar said, “In the Unnao gangrape case, the BJP MLA should be immediately arrested. In such cases,FIRs must be immediately registered and speedy justice delivered.”
In her reaction, National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) general secretary Annie Raja said : “Sexual violence against women has been on the rise and the government must take measures to ensure security for women and to protect their constitutional rights.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, too, on Thursday referred to rape-murder case of the Kathua girl saying “criminals of such horrific acts can’t go unpunished”.
The Gandhi scion took to Twitter, referring to the rape and murder of the girl, saying “it was a crime against humanity”.
He tweeted: “How can anyone protect the culprits of such evil? What happened to — at #Kathua is a crime against humanity. It cannot go unpunished. What have we become if we allow politics to interfere with such unimaginable brutality perpetrated on an innocent child?”
Around midnight on Thursday, Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra observed a massive protest against the alleged rape cases at the India Gate.
Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh on Thursday became the first Union Minister from the Modi government to condemn in public the alleged gang-rape of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua and those defending the rapists in the name of religion.
The former Army chief issued a statement on his official social media handles – Twitter and Facebook – in which he chastised the ‘rape apologists’ for defending the accused.
Addressing those who played the ‘Hindu’ card to defend the accused, Singh warned, “Those who are trying to defend the criminals using religion as a shield should note that they will be treated like criminals too.”
“Their support proves that they too are capable of committing such a heinous act. Chose whose representative you want to be,” he added.
“I want that the criminals be punished in such a way that it sets an example for generations to come,” said the former Army chief.