New Delhi, 30 October 2009: Incidents of sexual assaults against girls and women in the National Capital Region have been on the increase. Honour killings, crimes of passion, rape, molestation and so on have made Delhi the infamous ‘rape capital’ of the country. For women, moving through the city of Delhi on foot, by public transport or in personal vehicles has always been fraught with danger.
The latest gruesome case of a young woman who was assaulted and murdered in Munirka is the third such incident in the last 10 days in Delhi that has targeted the North East community. Recently, a young woman student was molested by a group of male school students in Jamia Nagar; she tried in vain to register an FIR against her aggressors. In another incident, a group of men from the North East were mercilessly beaten up when they protested about their car tyres being deflated by a group of drunk men. The Dhaula Kuan case in 2004 where a woman was gang-raped in a moving car and then dumped outside the Nanakpura gurudwara (100 metres away from the Crime against Women’s Cell) was shameful.
India is land that resonates with the sounds of distinctive tongues, enriched by its varied cultures, religions and peoples. Yet, the emphasis to carry a homogenous identity has been increasing. The North Easterners have been ‘othered’ with terms such as ‘chinkies’. Offensive comments, lewd gestures and sexual assaults against North Eastern women are rampant. This is a case of racial profiling. Are people from the North East being attributed with certain traits because of their geographical and cultural backgrounds? That they have a right to a life with dignity and safety must be said loud and clear.
To highlight Delhi’s increasing sexual crime against women, especially women from the North Eastern parts of India, representatives from several women’s groups and civil society organisations from Delhi will collect in Munirka from 4 P.M. onwards to do a silent protest. We will collectively mourn the untimely death of the young 19 year old and all the others who face harassment everyday.
In solidarity: ANHAD (Act for Harmony and Democracy), Centre for Women’s Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, Control Arms Foundation of India, Human Rights Law Network, Jagori, Kriti, Nirantar, North East Network, Sadbhav Mission, Saheli, Sama, Sangat, Students from JNU, South Asians for Human Rights and TARSHI
For further information, please contact:
Nandini Rao (Jagori): 98991 47755
Amrita Nandy (Sangat): 98100 73245