Rape Of Youngsters Sparks Protests In India

Rape Of Youngsters Sparks Protests In India

Thousands of people have taken to the streets across India in reaction to a string of brutal rape cases, in some of the largest mass demonstrations held in the country since the rape and murder of a female college student in Delhi in 2012.

The protests Sunday follow a second arrest linked to the alleged rape of a teenager by a ruling party politician in the state of Uttar Pradesh, according to a CNN report.

That case, along with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in the north of the country, has put pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who opponents accuse of defending the men implicated in both cases.

Meanwhile, BBC adds that the eight men accused in the case of the Muslim girl in Indian-administered Kashmir have pleaded not guilty in a specially convened fast-track court. The accused include a retired government official, four police officers and a minor.

The minor will be tried separately in accordance with India's juvenile act.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has appointed two special public prosecutors for the case.

According to CNN, the body of the victim, who belonged to a Muslim nomadic tribe, was found in a forest on 17 January near Kathua city of Indian-administered Kashmir.

The CNN report says, "The entanglement of party politics and sexual violence has tapped an unusually sensitive nerve, revealing something of the deep divisions that continue to haunt modern India.

“Public outrage now threatens to engulf Modi, who will seek reelection next year, as the demonstrations transform into a conduit for growing public anger regarding the country's treatment of women and minority groups."

After several days of silence on the issue, Modi finally broke his silence during a speech in Delhi on Friday, in which he promised "our daughters will definitely get justice."

Image credit: AFP