Mumbai, April 16 (Hindustan Times): The brutal gang rape and murder of the eight-year-old Muslim girl, Asifa Bano, hailing from the nomadic Bakarwal community in the Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, and the rape of a 17 year old job seeker by a local law maker in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, have sent shock waves throughout India.
While many celebs came forward to stand against the heinous crime and demand justice for the little girl, some Hindu extremists supported the rapists.
Bollywood celebrities, along with thousands of Mumbaikars, gathered on Sunday for a peaceful protest against the barbaric rape and murder of Asifa and the sexual assault of another young girl in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh.
Several actors such as Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhaskar, Sonam Kapoor, Armeena Rana Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mini Mathur also held posters demanding justice for the eight-year-old Asifa.
Bollywood celebrities such as Rajkummar Rao, Sameera Reddy, Twinkle Khanna along with her son Arav, Akshay Kumar, music director Vishal Dadlani, film-maker Kiran Rao, Aditi Rao Hydari and veteran actor Helen were among many others who came on the streets of Bandra to protest against the rape incidents and seek justice.
Priyanka Chopra and Ekta Kapoor, urged their fans and followers to attend a protest march at Mumbai’s Carter Road Promenade and Amphitheatre in order to demand justice for the victims. The protest is ‘apolitical and peaceful,’ as the poster read while particiapnts have been requested to refrain from carrying political symbols and banners.
“If you can make it, please do. We all agree that armchair activism isn’t enough… There is strength in numbers and in unity… ,” Priyanka wrote in her post on Twitter that has been retweeted almost 1500 times while her followers flooded the comments section with posters of the victim, saying that what has happened with the minor and the young girl is nothing short of heinous.
Ekta Kapoor, as well, requested her followers to attend: “For humanity, for justice.”
The protesters were seen holding placards and posters that read #JusticeforAsifa.
Some young girls were also present at the gathering holding posters that read, “This is not just rape, this is genocide with state support.”
Safe Bharat Before Swachch (Clean) Bharat
One girl clad in a burqa was spotted holding a placard with “Before having a Swachh Bharat, we want a Safe Bharat” written on it.
Vishal Dadlani said, “We want to stop this nonsense now. We want action and we want it now! Once the man is accused and guilty of raping and killing a baby girl, he should be hanged then and then. Don’t let this matter be pushed aside by the news-cycle driven media. Raise your voice, put up your own pictures.”
Another activist stated, “Our gathering shows that we as a community stand for the cause; there is a helplessness that we all feel and therefore we are standing here. We want justice.”
While tensions between Pakistan and India have recently been on the high, celebrities from both sides of the border have come together to now demand justice for innocent Asifa.
Several actors such as Kareena Kapoor Khan, Swara Bhaskar, Sonam Kapoor, Armeena Rana Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mini Mathur also held posters demanding justice for the eight-year-old girl.
Kathua district court today directed that chargesheet copies be provided to all the accused in the case. The court set the next hearing date as April 28. All the accused were brought to court today.
(The featured mage at the top shows Kareena Kapoor expressing her protest)