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Indian student societies in UK demand Narendra Modi takes urgent action on rape cases
By: Barfi Culture Team
Published: 16th April 2018

Over 20 Indian student groups across Britain have signed an open letter calling on the Indian Prime Minister to take "extraordinary steps to prove that India’s daughters matter".

The letter was published in response to the growing controversy in India over the mishandling of several rape cases and was coordinated by the National Indian Students and Alumni Union of UK (NISAU).

Narendra Modi is due to visit the UK and Sweden from today until Friday 20th April. He will also host an invite-only event with British Indians at London's Westminster Central Hall later this week.

The letter from NISAU expresses "great distress and horror" over recent acts of violence against women and girls in India. It also criticises him for his "woeful silence" on the matter until Friday and asks "how" justice will be delivered.

It adds: "We, the Indian student and alumni community in the UK, are deeply horrified and demand immediate proceedings against the accused in both cases. We demand that you set a true example and prove that the current Indian government does care about the wellbeing and dignity of its children, women, and citizens at large."

"By taking swift and strict action, please show that the Indian government’s initial silence and delayed response to these horrific crimes against humanity are not a support of the accused because the accused have some or the other link with those in power."

But Mr Modi has not put forward any policy proposals over the last week to better protect Indian women from violence. Instead, the criticism has only grown. 49 ex-civil servants have also signed a letter slamming him for broken promises on the issue.

The full letter is below

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Respected PM Mr Modi,

We are writing with a sense of great distress and horror over the recent crimes of heinous nature against three minor girls in India.

The first is the brutal rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl, Asifa, by men who kept her drugged and captive inside a temple for 8 days and were joined in their heinous acts by a police officer, and helped by another police officer in concealing evidence. Ministers in the state government have openly supported protests in favour of the accused.

The second and equally devastating incident is that of the rape of a young woman in Unnao who attempted suicide outside the house of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, because of the alleged inaction by the state administration in her complaint, which she had filed last year. The police allegedly refused to file an FIR of rape against the rapist, an MLA of your party, in the Uttar Pradesh Government. Instead, reportedly her father was jailed and tortured to death and was previously assaulted by brother of the said MLA, as named by her father before he died.

Despite the mainstream media reporting on these two incidents, there was woeful silence until yesterday, 13th of April, from you. When you did address the issues, you assured the nation that justice will be delivered. This is welcome. The question Prime Minister, is, When, and How?

We, the Indian student and alumni community in the UK, are deeply horrified and demand immediate proceedings against the accused in both cases. We demand that you set a true example and prove that the current Indian government does care about the wellbeing and dignity of its children, women, and citizens at large. By taking swift and strict action, please show that the Indian government’s initial silence and delayed response to these horrific crimes against humanity are not a support of the accused because the accused have some or the other link with those in power.

Hon Prime Minister, extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures. You have not shied away from taking difficult decisions in the past, such as with demonetisation. Please take similar extraordinary steps to prove that India’s daughters matter. As recent as a few hours ago, the rape and murder of yet another minor, an 11-year-old, this time in Gujarat, has been reported. Her post mortem has reportedly confirmed that she was raped for at least 8 days. How long will this go on? When you say that justice will be delivered, will it extend to creating that justified environment where our women and children can exist freely?

The NISAU is one of the many organisations that have been preparing and eagerly looking forward to your visit to the UK next week. We hope that by the time you arrive, you have sufficiently addressed both these matters and implemented law and order such that justice and humanity can reign supreme. That when you arrive and address #BharatKiBaatSabkeSaath, you can tell us and the world what those extraordinary measures are that you are putting into place to show that enough is
enough.

We hope that you will acknowledge and appropriately respond to this letter on an urgent basis.

Yours sincerely,
National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK - NISAU
Oxford India Society
KCL India Society
LSE SU India Society
LSE SU India Forum
Warwick India Forum
Warwick Indian Society
Indian Society Of Manchester
Salford Indian Society
Bharat Parivar UoB
Indian Society
Imperial College Indian Society
UCL Indian Society
NTSU Indian Society
Queen Mary Indian Society
IndiaSoc Soton
Salford Indian Society
Indian Society University of Nottingham
Strathclyde Indian Students' Association - SISA
Sisa Strath
UAL Indian Cultural Society
SGUL Indian Society
Birkbeck Indian Society


Article published on 16th April 2018 in the World section




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