Published: 06th October 2020
'This stops with our generation': Over 180 IIM-B students, teachers write to PM seeking justice for Hathras victim
We demand the right to safety. To dignity. For all Indians. We demand that our law and order system follows due process and justice, IIM-B students, staffers, teachers wrote in the open letter
"We will no longer sit by idly while our Dalit sisters are subjected to harassment and indignity. As the heirs of Ambedkar, Gandhi, Kabir, Savitribai Phule, Basavanna and countless others who have fought for equality and our rights, we will no longer consent to this injustice. We stand together and say 'Enough!' This stops in our generation. This stops with us."
What you read above is an excerpt from an open letter written by more than 180 students, faculty, staff member and alumni of IIM Bangalore to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking justice for the 19-year-old Dalit girl in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras who was allegedly brutally gang-raped by four Thakur men on September 14. She succumbed to her injuries on September 29.
The Uttar Pradesh Police have been criticised for allegedly not acting on the complaint initially, and later burning the victim’s body in the wee hours of September 30 without the family’s consent or providing them with a chance to perform the last rituals before cremation.
IIM-B's open letter published on Monday demanded justice for the victim who died under the brutal attack without recourse to good medical care and who was not given the dignity of a last farewell. "We demand justice for the family who was even denied access to participate in her last rites. We seek assurance that the family will not be intimidated, but rather supported to get justice. We demand that in addition to the perpetrators of the rape, those who seek to bury this matter with such impunity are also punished," read the letter.
The horrific incident and the subsequent death of the 19-year-old victim from Hathras has led to widespread national outrage with citizens protesting across the country seeking justice. The alleged gang-rape has been equated with and is being called a chilling reminder of the 2012 Nirbhaya case in New Delhi. The Hathras administration and the Uttar Pradesh Police are especially under fire for their handling of the crime and the incidents that followed, including the hurried cremation without the family and the allegations of the family being intimidated, coerced to keep quiet by the District Magistrate.
The letter has also specified and demanded that the government look into the matter that justice is delivered to "the innumerable girls and women, from all walks of Indian society, but especially from the poorest and the most marginalized communities, who are targeted and abused daily on the basis of their caste or religion."
"We demand the right to safety. To dignity. For all Indians. We demand that our law and order system follows due process and justice in this case and always. Not encounters. Not cover-ups. Not extra-judicial killings. Not use tools of governance against us every time we peacefully protest actions of our government. We demand that the government and the police do their jobs and ensure safety and security for every Indian citizen," the letter added.