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Another girl raped in Haryana. Are women safe in India?

Arti Ghargi

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rape

With rape incidents on an increase, are women safe in India? HW News brings you reactions from women politicians in the country.

 

A 19-year-old student was allegedly gang-raped in Haryana while she was headed for her coaching classes in Mahendragarh district. Police say three-four people were involved in this. The woman had been awarded by the President of India for her excellent academic performance during her school days.

It is believed that the accused kidnapped her while she was headed for her coaching classes in Kanina town of Mahendragarh district. She was also served a drink laced with sedatives.

The woman was kidnapped on Wednesday evening. The accused took her to a secluded place where she was gang-raped after intoxicating her with sedatives. She was then left near a local bus stop.

The police have filed an FIR against three people in this case and have said that the matter is being probed. The mother of the victim while talking to media has criticised the failure of government in protecting the women and even asked PM Modi about the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” scheme.

With such incidents on an increase, are women safe in India? HW News brings you reactions from women politicians in the country.

Priti Sharma Menon, AAP Spokesperson:

rape

“We have to understand that the state police reports to the State Home Minister. The behavior of the state police completely depends on the attitude of the home minister. In this country in almost all BJP ruled states, we have seen shocking incidents of rape. The police inaction has made the whole case worse. This happens because BJP government is not serious on the implementation of any such supposed laws that were passed after the Nirbhaya Rape case. They have failed to keep their promises, be it delivering justice in six months or giving immediate redressal to the complainant at the police station. Never have they taken these matters seriously because there is absolutely no respect for women in this regime. Even this very day a self-proclaimed Godman has been accused of rape. The culture that is being masked as religion is actually a culture of rape and subversion of women. There is also a case in Chhattisgarh where a boy committed suicide because his girlfriend was raped and for days his relatives were clueless of the real reason behind such an extreme step, until the girl who was raped came out and narrated the horrifying incident when they both were attacked and she was raped in front of the boy. This is destroying our children every day. But in this government, there is no will to help women or children. Amidst such ruthless incidents, one of the most astonishing comment comes from a BJP MLA Ram Kadam is ‘Hum Beti Bhagaengay Beti Bachaengay Nahin’.”

Shaina NC, BJP Spokesperson:

ram kadam

“We collectively as a society need to work towards having a collective consciousness which is to ensure that perpetrators of crime do not get away scot-free. We need to teach our boys at home to respect women so we don’t have this kind of atrocities in our society. Firstly, we have to ensure that there is some kind of social movement. Wherein we must talk about respecting women and atrocities faced by them. If we are able to do that then in my opinion, we will be in a position to bring about some kind of a thought process wherein women are not objectified or view as an item or commodity. They should be viewed from a larger perspective as somebody who resembles Goddess Durga, Lakshmi or Saraswati to worship and not an object to satisfy one’s lust. For such heinous crimes, we will ensure perpetrators are put to task. We need to make sure that there is fear of law change in mindset and more importantly, respect women at every stratum.”

Vidya Chavan, NCP Spokesperson:

rape

“This is a very disturbing incident that has happened. After the Nirbhaya rape case, there was Verma commission also formed which formulated stringent laws to protect women but police failed to implement these laws and there is no proper system followed by them. This is not the first case where such heinous crimes have been happening in the country. What had happened in Kathua and Unnao and the recent comment made by BJP MLA Ram Kadam who said he will help elope a girl is insensitive and unacceptable. This is a conspiracy against women in the country. It is shameful that such an incident has happened in Haryana and it is even more shameful that the police refused to lodge any complaint against the accused and no action was taken for the longest time. Right from its campaigning phase, the BJP government has been trumpeting that there is going to be stringent laws to protect women and sloganeering to save daughters and educate them (Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao) but they have created a situation where our daughters are not safe. Who is responsible for such atrocious situations? Is it not the responsibility of the Modi government to protect women?. Things that are happening in the country are wrong and unacceptable. When you say that we will hang the rapists, shouldn’t you also make sure that the system works in accordance with such claims, shouldn’t police themselves co-operate too? Right from the medical examination to the sections that are to be charged is the responsibility of the police. There should be immediate action. If the police themselves ignore such heinous crimes then how do you think there will be any implementation of such laws? It is the Modi government’s responsibility to take care of this. We as women and our daughters feel unsafe in the country, the crime rate against women should decrease whereas it is increasing. Fast track actions are not being taken such against the criminals. The police should look into this matter and act vigilantly but we also know that there is a pressure from the government on them which is unacceptable. Whoever is responsible for such crimes should be punished irrespective of which party they belong to.”

Manisha Kayande, Shivsena Spokesperson:

section 377

“After the Nirbhaya rape case, stringent laws have been brought in but the police’s role is very important. If they are not registering any FIR, means they are not doing their duty. Many times their role is very suspicious. They many times have strode with the culprits. In the male-dominated society, they feel that every woman who comes to the police station is herself suspicious or has some other motive in mind. That is a prominent reason why they look at women in a certain way, this is a major problem with our police. If the FIR is not registered then what can be expected from the police. Then people are forced to fetch some other help or go to court themselves to register a complain but in this case, it again comes to the police. The court directs the police to take the FIR because of public pressure. All these news come in the newspaper for a few days and the saga continues and ultimately the public forgets. It is only up to the media or NGOs to look into the matter and follow up, whether a case has been registered or not. The police play a very important role and if the police do not portray their role then action needs to be taken against them because they are the law-implementing agency. If they are not doing their work then they are highly gender insensitive. They always take side of the culprits. We have seen some cases where the police are bribed to keep their mouths shut and to tie their hands, which has come out in the open so many times. I would entirely blame the police for not doing their work and coming under political pressure many times.”

India Reacts

Should MJ Akbar step down as a minister following sexual harassment allegation?

Arti Ghargi

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MJ Akbar

In the lights of these allegations, should MJ Akbar step down as a minister? HW News brings you reactions from across the people.

 

India’s #MeToo movement that started with Tanushree Dutta breaking her silence on workplace harassment on the sets of the film ‘Horn Ok Please’ at the hands of actor Nana Patekar, has hit the Indian politics and media too.

In a slew of accounts that came out as a part of #MeToo movement recounted some horrifying incidents where women were sexually harassed at the workplace. While women in media have named a number of male journalists/media persons breaking their silence, scores of women have named journalist turned politician and now MoS External Affairs in the Modi government-MJ Akbar as a sexual predator.

As many as 9 women from different media organization have accused MJ Akbar of sexual harassment. These survivors’ accounts paint a stomach-churning pattern to his sexual abuse – set up job interviews with aspiring women journalists in hotel rooms, repeatedly call them to his office cabin for meaningless conversation and chatter, entice them with major stories, send them out of the workplace and meet them at a hotel at odd hours.

In the lights of these allegations, should MJ Akbar step down as a minister? HW News brings you reactions from across the people:

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, Journalist:

 

abc

 

“He should absolutely step down from the post. This casts a big shadow on the Modi government which boasts of campaigns like “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”. The women’s accounts need to be heard.”

 

Seshadri Chari, BJP NEC:

Karunanidhi

“The allegations made against the MoS for External Affairs Mr MJ Akbar are of very serious nature. So going by these allegations and given the fact that Narendra Modi govt is seriously engaged in maintaining the decorum and dignity of the government, it would be in the best interest of the govt that Mr MJ Akbar should consider demitting office. The fact that allegations have been made but so far no serious charge has been framed nor any FIR been filed officially, these all the facts on the sideline. So it will take a long time for the allegations to be taken to the court of law and it will take even more time to prove. but irrespective of that the govt needs to maintain its standards of high probity and therefore in the best interest of the government and the situation,I think Mr MJ Akbar owes an explanation and subsequently it will be right on his part if he thinks he should step down and allow the matter to take a logical course.”

 

Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

“Those who have accused, should go to the authorities and file a lawsuit. The allegations should be taken seriously and examined. If there are so many allegations, the minister resigns. If such allegations seem to be taking place, then they should resign while taking moral responsibility. Take action by filing a lawsuit, it is our demand.”

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India Reacts

#FuelPriceCut: Is ₹ 2.50 cut in fuel price enough?

Arti Ghargi

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₹ 2.50

With the petrol prices already breaching the ₹ 90-mark in various cities, is ₹ 2.50 cut in fuel price by the central government enough?

 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday announced that the central government will reduce the excise duty on fuel prices by 1.50 rupees.

Addressing a press conference, Arun Jaitley announced that the Union government will reduce the excise duty by Rs.1.50 while the Oil manufacturing Companies will also absorb a reduction of 1 rupee.” The announcement of the Finance minister will lead the rising fuel prices in the country to decrease by 2.50 rupees.

The Union Finance minister further added that the Union government will be writing to the state government to also reduce the VAT on the fuel prices similar to the central governments. Arun Jaitley further informed that cut in excise duty will be applicable immediately.

Petrol on Thursday was being sold at Rs 84 per litre in Delhi while diesel is being sold at Rs 75.45 per liter. In Mumbai on Thursday petrol is being sold at Rs 91.34 per liter and diesel at Rs 80.10 per liter.

With the petrol prices already breaching the ₹ 90-mark in various cities, is ₹ 2.50 cut in fuel price by the central govt. enough? HW News brings you reactions from across the political parties:

 

Sachin Sawant, Congress Spokesperson:

Triple talaq

 

“First burden people with tons of weight, then remove few grams and start patting own backs claiming concern about people. This is BJP’s strategy. The government should answer why have they kept RS 9 drought cess even when there is no drought for 3 years? Why only petrol and not diesel? The government should put petrol and diesel under GST.”

 

Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:

NCP

“The government has taken the decision of reducing the price of petrol and diesel by ₹ 2.50. It is nothing but misleading the people. During the UPA government, the excise duty on petrol was ₹ 9. This government increased it to ₹ 19.48. The excise duty on fuel was increased from ₹ 3 to ₹15.33. We challenge the BJP government, if it is serious about giving the people relief then it should implement the UPA-era excise duty on fuel again.”

 

Sambit Patra, BJP Spokesperson:

BKP

“The Modi government is fully sensitive towards the problem of rising petrol and diesel prices. The government cares for Common man and thus has reduced up to ₹5 on Petrol and Diesel. Even the BJP-ruled states are now cutting down on the prices. The Prime Minister himself is monitoring the situation.”

 

Sanjay Singh, Rajya Sabha MP, AAP:

fuel price

 

“It is good that the government decided to reduce the fuel prices by ₹2.50. But Mr. Jaitley should first clarify that from tomorrow the prices won’t again rise by 10 paise, 25 paise, 45 paise, and 50 paise etc.  It shouldn’t be like “Chaar din ki Chandani aur fir andheri raat”. In the last four years, the Modi government has increased 443% tax on diesel and 213% tax on petrol. Now that elections are around the corner in three states, the government is cutting on the taxes. A similar thing also happened during Gujarat elections as well.”

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India Reacts

Is the Modi government Anti-farmer?

Arti Ghargi

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farmer

With the farmers’ protest growing across the country and farm distress reaching new heights, should the Modi government review its farm policies?

A massive protest march by farmers from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi with a charter of 15 demands including loan waiver and fair prices for crops turned violent at the border on Tuesday, with police using water cannons and tear gas to disperse them.

Led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), thousands of farmers on their way to Kisan Ghat in the national capital were stopped at the Delhi border by the police. The farmers then tried to forcibly break barricades and defy prohibitory orders. Prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more persons have been clamped in several areas near the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border and will continue till October 8. The police even lathicharged and unleashed water cannons on the protesting farmers after they tried to evade the barricades.

The farmers’ demands include complete loan waiver, revoking the ban on 10-year-old tractors in the National Capital Region, reduction in electricity tariff, implementation of the recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission on remunerative prices and payment of sugarcane arrears among others. The police crackdown was denounced by opposition parties.

With the farmer’s protest growing across the country and farm distress reaching new heights, should the Modi govt. review its farm policies? or Is the Modi government Anti-farmer? HW News brings you reactions from across political parties:

Ashok Gehlot, AICC General Secretary:

Ashok Gehlot

“The BJP government says they will celebrate the 150th “Gandhi Jayanti” in a grand way throughout the year. Mahatma Gandhi was an advocate of Non-Violence and the entire world on 2nd October celebrated the International Non-violence Day. But this government destroyed the idea of non-violence day. Be it UP or Delhi, wherever the lathicharge has happened, I strongly condemn it. They could have talked to farmers, have had a dialogue with them but instead, they brutally unleashed violence on them.”

Raju Shetty, Lok Sabha MP:

“The farmers were going to ask for justice and their rights in Delhi. They were not going to attack. They are not terrorists. Who gave them the right to stop farmers? Everyone has the right to go to the capital. The Mahatma who taught non-violence to the entire world placed his demands in front of the government in a non-violent manner presented an example. These people who come to power in the name of Mahatma ji, who have come to power on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, throw stones on farmers, shed pellets, they should be ashamed. I strongly condemn it. Its response will come from the entire country and the farmers.”

Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:

NCP

“The farmers wanted to go to Rajghat in Delhi. Farmers were Indian citizens, what big storm came upon them when they went there. The real face of BJP came out when lathi charge was done on the farmers, the tear gas shells were pressed. It was the birth anniversary of the leader who gave us the slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kisan, It is the birth anniversary of the leader who gave us a message of non-violence and the Modi government is unleashing violence on farmer on the same day. Modiji is only giving the slogan “Mar Jawan, Mar Kisan”. We feel that the real face of BJP has come in front of people. Anti-farmer mentality, oppressive mentality is exposed.”

D Raja, Rajya Sabha MP, CPI:

activists

“Government just make tall claims. Mr. Modi talks about doubling the income of the farmers, Mr. Modi talks about the increasing the MSP, Mr. Modi claims his govt. is “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas”. But farmers are in an unprecedented distress and debt. They are committing suicides across the country and are protesting and agitating. Farmers even marched from Nashik to Mumbai. Everyone knows Mr. Fadnavis gave them a lot of assurances. Finally, nothing happened. Now, farmers marched from Varanasi to Delhi. Delhi is the capital of the country and they must have allowed the farmers to come to Delhi where our parliament is situated. They should have allowed them to express their grievances.”

“They must have been allowed to protest. So that the government understands their grievances. This government is so insensitive that they did not allow them to enter the national capital. It is atrocious how they used the might of the police and other security forces to unleash violence on the farmers. What happened yesterday was nothing but state-sponsored violence against farmers. That could have been avoided. The protest is a form of democracy and farmers wanted to come to Delhi and express their grievances. Why they were not allowed? And the police is under Home Ministry, the violence happened under the nose of Home Ministry and the government. We strongly condemned the violence unleashed against the farmers.”

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