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Press release – Protest against gender/caste violence, Indian High Commission, London

Wednesday 4 June  4.30pm
Protest rape & murder of Dalit & tribal women in India

Indian High Commission,
The Aldwych, London WC2
(nearest tube: Holborn)Organised by Freedom Without Fear Platform

Please come and support this important protest.  On 28 May, two teenage girls were brutally gang raped and lynched by higher class landowners in Uttar Pradesh, India. Hundreds of villagers, including many women and girls, held a sit in under the tree where the bodies were found to press authorities to arrest the suspects — some are police officers.
The local chief of police had ignored the father’s report of the girls’ abduction for over twelve hours.  Had police acted sooner, the girls might still be alive.The village protesters’ determination to get justice resulted in the police finally arresting three of the suspects and two police officers for shielding the perpetrators. The search continues for the other men suspected of being involved.

Women of Colour GWs is going to the London protest to show international support for the victims’ families, Dalit women and their communities.  Please come and circulate the call widely in your network

PRESS RELEASE
Women’s organizations, South Asian community organizations and Dalit and
anti-caste discrimination organizations in Britain will join in a large and
angry protest outside the Indian High Commission in London TODAY 4.30 PM  about
the ongoing horrific murders and sexual assaults on Dalit women and children
across India, including the appalling gang-rape and lynching of two Dalit
girls aged 14 and 15 in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday 28th May and the rape of four teenage Dalit girls aged 13-18 by ‘higher caste’ landowners in
Bhagana in Haryana in which the survivors are still fighting for the arrest
of all those they have named as perpetrators.
.       These caste/gender atrocities are not confined to one state but have
been occurring across the country – from Bathani Tola and Bathe in Bihar to
Khairlanji and Khadra in Maharashtra and now Bhagana in Haryana and Badaun
in UP.. Less than 1% of rape cases of Dalit women by non-Dalits end in
conviction. The level of impunity is so total that the perpetrators feel
confident to horrifically murder their victims and leave their bodies on
display.
.       These rapes and murders are taking place with the collusion of the
police as recently highlighted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence
Against Women. In many cases the police themselves are the perpetrators. There has also been collusion by public prosecutors and the
judiciary, which has led to acquittals of the guilty.
.       Public figures responsible for rapes and murders of  minority, Dalit
and Adivasi women have been rewarded and promoted – two of many examples are: Muzaffarnagar-accused Sanjeev Baliyan, now made a central government; Minister, and Police Superintendent Ankit Garg awarded for gallantry after supervising the rape and torture of Soni Sori.
A letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the following demands:
1.     In the Badaun case: The police involved in the rape-murders must be
prosecuted: In the FIR lodged by the police, the culprit policemen have been
charged only with abettment (120B) whereas they should be named as the
accused and
Section 166A (which refers to public servants perverting the course of
justice) also should be invoked in the case. The government must take
measures to guarantee the security of the families of the victims since
police are among the accused
2.     In the Bhagana case: the demands of the rape survivors and their
families who have been forced to protest in Delhi for many weeks must
immediately be met:  all those named by the survivors must be arrested; the
Dalit community in Bhagana must be given land and guaranteed security as is
their right; full compensation must be provided to the Bhagana rape
survivors.
3.     In the cases of the Bathani Tola and Bathe massacres and mass rapes
carried out by the Ranvir Sena in Bihar: all those convicted on the evidence
of eyewitness survivors have been subsequently acquitted by the Patna High
Court. These acquittals must be overturned. The Amir Das Commission
investigating the Ranvir Sena which was hastily disbanded before it could
make its findings public, must be reinstated.
4.     Sanjeev Baliyan who is a main accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots and
mass rapes of Muslim women in U.P. (and has continued to break the law,
taking out inflammatory victory processions against Prohibitory Orders) must
be removed from his post as Minister of State for Agriculture and Food
Processing in the central government immediately.
5.     The Atrocities Act which is specifically designed to address caste
violence must be applied in all cases of caste/gender violence.
Organised by: Freedom Without Fear Platform, a network of Black and minority
Discrimination Alliance; British Organisation of People of Asian
Origin;CasteWatch UK; Central Valmik Sabha UK; Federation of Ambedkarite and
Buddhist Organisations UK, Newham Asian Women’s Project; South Asia
Solidarity Group; Southall Black Sisters; Sri Guru Ravidass Sabha, UK,
Europe and Abroad; Sri Guru Ravidass International Organisation for Human
Rights; Voice of Dalit International; Women’s Networking Hub

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