4/16/2018 2:27:09 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
A group of 49 retired Indian civil servants wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, blaming him for a "terrifying state of affairs" after the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl and the death of a man whose 16-year-old daughter alleged she was raped by a ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker.
Expressing concern over the "decline in the secular, democratic, and liberal values enshrined in our constitution", the former bureaucrats blamed right-wing politics and the “Sangh Parivar”, adding, “In post-Independence India, this is our darkest hour”.
The rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from a nomadic Muslim community in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua shocked the country. Thousands of people joined protest rallies in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, Thiruvananthapuram, Ajmer, Bhopal and Chandigarh. However, there was also a groundswell of support for the accused, with even lawyers of the Jammu Bar Association opposing the charge-sheet and going on an indefinite strike.
In the other incident, a 16-year-old girl from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, alleged she was raped by the BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar and tried to commit suicide outside the UP Chief Minster Yogi Adityanath's house on April 8. Her father died the next day after being allegedly beaten by the lawmakers' brother for refusing to withdraw the case. The lawmaker was charged with rape.
The former bureaucrats in their letter urged the prime minister to apologise to the victims and offer special protection to Muslims, Dalits, minorities, women and children. The signatories included former coal secretary Chandrashekhar Balakrishnan, former police chiefs Meera Borwankar and Julio Rebeiro, former foreign secretary Nareshwar Dayal, former Indian ambassador to Italy KP Fabian and former health secretary Sujatha Rao.