Protest Against Kathua and Unnao Rape Cases Puts Focus on Unnatural Deaths in Mangalore
April 19, 2018
Protesting the incidents of rapes in Kathua, Unnao and Surat, hundreds gathered outside the District Collector’s office in Mangalore on April 16. The protesters also iterated the case of the brutal gang rape and murder of a 17-year-old in Belthangady in October 2012. Parents of the deceased victim launched a candle light vigil during the protest, according to a report in Daijiworld.
A number of protests were organised across the coastal city of Mangalore in 2012, in the aftermath of the rape. During the protest organised by Capuchin Krishik Seva Kendra (CKSK), and Vimukti Mahila Okkuta , Fr. Vinod Mascarenhas, the director of CKSK, had raised concern about 52 such cases recorded in the Taluk that year, according to a Daijiworld report. Mascarenhas had also appealed to the gathered protesters to reflect on the unrecorded cases.
According to a report in Canaratimes – an English daily published in Mangalore, there have been 389 unnatural deaths in Dharmasthala Gram Panchayat limits, 91 in Ujire GP limits and 73 in Belthangady police station limits. Mangalore Today reported Dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala, D Veerendra Hegde, having said, he had informed the then district –incharge minister C T Ravi to look into the 2012 Belthangady murder case. The hearing of the case has still not been concluded.
The case was first transferred CID ,and then to the CBI. The chief accused in the case are Dheeraj Jain, Malik Jain, Udaya Jain and Santhosh Rao from Bajagoli, Karakala, who is said to be mentally ill. On April 10, 2018, the High Court of Karnataka, examining the chargesheet filed by CBI, showed its discontent with the investigation in the case. A report in the Deccan Herald noted that the chargeheet had not documented the accounts of the eyewitnesses in the case, and the High Court found this to be suspicious. The court has said that if the CBI fails to conduct investigation in the case, it will direct to form a special investigation team.
According to the Daijiworld report , during the recent protest in Mangalore, the victim’s mother said: "Five years ago, my daughter was brutally raped and killed. Even today, I am fighting for justice, and I will continue until I get justice. I do not have any affiliation to any party, religion, caste; for me, all are equal. I request you to support me and stand with me.”
The increasing crime rate in Mangalore is alarming. According to a study conducted by the State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB) in 2011, the highest crime rate was reported in Mangalore (582.85). It is high time that the criminal cases that have been reported in the region are followed up.
Co-published with NewsclickDisclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the writer's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Indian Writers' Forum.
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