Manipal Marches for Justice
MANIPAL: A candle march was organised near End Point in Manipal on Saturday, April 14 in response to the Kathua rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl. A march for this cause is an unprecedented step in Manipal and had students and local residents walking on the street with the message “human rights are not optional” and a poster of the victim.
The Kathua rape case is about the abduction, rape, and killing of 8-year-old Shafina (a changed name) in Rasana village near Kathua in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. According to reports, she went missing on January 10 and her mutilated body was found on January 17. They also added that she was sedated and kept in a temple without food and water where she was raped several times by her abductors. Forensic reports stated that she was raped multiple times by different men and was strangled to death. Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi was extremely disturbed and said that the Ministry will move a cabinet note to amend Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), asking for death penalty for rape on children below 12 years.
The march started from Upendra Pai Circle and covered the End Point road to end back at the Circle. Candles were placed around her poster, and a silent prayer was offered. The peaceful walk attempted to not interrupt the traffic. “We knew something had to be done, staying silent was not an option. That’s what brought us to do this. We hope justice is delivered and may her soul rest in peace,” explained the organisers of the candle march.
“What happened is totally unjust and we need justice for her. It’s difficult to imagine an 8-year-old going through this amount of suffering and knowing that we couldn’t help her in any way is sad. This is not fair. Hopefully, this march helps highlight the intensity of the issue and justice is delivered soon,” expressed Kripa Shera, a Faculty of Architecture student.
“Walking or marching won’t help or have severe magnitude of impact. Some serious action needs to be taken. Like in Arab countries, they instil fear in minds of people. This is something which should be done in this country,” said Saloni Sawant, a School of Life Sciences student.
Featured Image Courtesy: Baisil Kunjumon
Edited by: Karthika Venugopal