Having led a successful midnight candle march, an aggressive Rahul Gandhi on Friday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence and tell the nation why rapists and murders were being protected.
Talking about the goal of the march, Rahul Gandhi said, "We are here against crimes being committed against women, against rapes, violence and murder and the government must act on this". Rahul Gandhi echoed the sentiment but demanded accountability from the government yesterday at a midnight candlelight march in Delhi.
Amid slogans against the BJP and the Prime Minister during the march, Gandhi said the women of the country are afraid to go out today and the government must ensure their safety.
What do YOU think about the growing violence against women and children? India simply can not continue to treat its women the way it does.
Information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani said stern action would be taken against those found guilty in the Unnao rape case and condemned what she said were efforts to "politicise" such cases.
Expressing anguish over the two incidents which have triggered widespread outrage, he also said such crimes challenge the very concept of social justice "and as a society and a country we all are ashamed of it".
In the Kathua case, an 8-year-old girl from the Muslim Bakarwal community in Jammu's Rasana area was abducted in January, confined in a temple for days, drugged and repeatedly raped before she was finally murdered and dumped in a forest. Their support for justice for Kathua and Unnao rape victims will surely jolt the establishment to book the culprits at the earliest. Eight people, including two special police officers (SPOs) and a head constable, charged with destroying evidence were arrested.
"You see their plan - first shout "minority minority", then "Dalit Dalit", and now "women women" and then try to somehow fix blame of state issues on the Centre".
At the march, held at India Gate under a heavy security cover, Rahul was accompanied by sister Priyanka Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said they were protesting to awaken the Modi government from its "slumber".
Before Thursday, Rahul had courted much criticism over his conspicuous silence on the Kathua case, despite weighing in on the alleged Unnao crime.
New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi, while seeking stringent punishment for the guilty, defended two Jammu and Kashmir ministers of the party who had joined a rally against a police probe into the Kathua gangrape and murder case.