Violence against women cannot go unpunished!
Build neighbourhood and mohalla committees to defend ourselves!
The brutal police attack on the lakhs of protestors who have been demonstrating in the most peaceful manner over the last four to five days must be condemned. The youthful protestors – men and women, who are extremely angry with the criminal assault and rape on a young girl have come out of their homes to express their anger and have only faced the wrath of the State in response to their just demands. They have faced water cannons and lathi charge by the police.
The ruling elite do not want to allow them even the right to protest peacefully. In the last 24 hours anti-social elements have been deliberately let loose who have turned unruly and violent in order to discredit those who have been protesting peacefully and giving the police justification to attack the protestors. Now, the media is issuing appeals to the demonstrators to “return peacefully” to their homes! These anti-social elements are also the work of those who are in power, because it is they who control and use such criminal hoodlums whenever they want to create a riot, communal genocide, assaults on women or attack any section that raises its voice against injustice in society.
We condemn the ghastly crime of gang-rape and demand that the guilty should be severely punished. We hold those who are in state power – the government at the Centre and in Delhi, the police and “justice system” responsible for this crime and for countless other crimes against women that are not even reported. The victim who is struggling for her life in a city hospital has become a powerful symbol for all those who are seething with anger against the growing injustice against women. The thousands of people who are pouring out onto the streets of Delhi and other cities are demanding that this system must guarantee the safety and security of women at all costs.
Who is responsible for the conditions today? There is no dearth of laws that can protect women and punish criminals who assault them. But the political thugs who rule this country do not want to implement the laws. The two biggest political parties, the Congress and BJP, themselves are guilty of committing the most heinous crimes against women. Many of the netas of these parties have charge sheets of rape and abduction of women; it is the leaders of these parties who led mobs of murderous goons in the 1984 genocide of Sikhs in Delhi, the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, the ensuing murderous attacks on Muslims in Mumbai, Surat and other cities, and the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. Women were raped and their abdomens cut open to destroy the fetuses they were bearing. It is these criminals in power who allow the army to violate women regularly in Kashmir, north-east and so-called terrorist infested areas in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and other states. Without the connivance and support of the ministers, bureaucracy, courts and security forces such genocides and mass killings could never have taken place. So, with what face do they dare to come in front of the people to lie to them one more time that the safety of women should be left in their hands?
While we demand justice and punishment for the guilty, we cannot rely on the police and those in power to meet our demands. Let us organize to protect ourselves by building our neighbourhood committees cutting across party affiliations, caste, religion and gender, and organize our defence. At the same time, let us carry on the struggle for a lasting solution to prevent crimes against women and for a society that will ensure safety and security for all.
Issued by Lok Raj Sangathan, Hind Naujavan Sabha and Purogami Mahila Sangathan, 23 December, 2012
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