Kathua rape lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat faces threats over Twitter post

SRINAGAR:  Top human rights defender and counsel for Kathua rape victim’s family Deepika Singh Rajawat is in the crosshairs of rightwing groups after she shared an “objectionable” cartoon on her Twitter handle.

Workers of different groups staged a protest outside her house in Jammu against the sacrilegious act. People shouted slogans and demanded her immediate arrest. Social media users spewed venom and called for her death.

“Several right-wing organizations have been staging angry protests outside my residence. Law enforcement agencies must intervene immediately to avert the untoward incident. In view of slander n threats—both online and offline — I am afraid that the frenzied mob can attack me any time,” Deepika tweeted.

She also shared several tweets in which people threatened to kill her. “Tuje Maut Ke Ghat Utarna Padega (You need to be hacked to death),” tweeted one user.

However, police immediately swung into action and cleared the protestors from the roads. “Called up IGP, Jammu… The mob has been cleared by police. Thanks for extending support,” she said.

Protests erupted after Deepika shared a cartoon on her Twitter handle with the caption: `Vindambana’ (Irony) in Hindi. This triggered a chain reaction online and offline with people openly threatening to kill her.

“We belong to a society where we respect women and worship her as a deity. We understood well that you are against those people who treat women badly. We respect and feel the same when such incidents happen in our society. But the controversy you have created by your tweet is condemnable and shows your mentality,” said Chandan Datta, Chairman Kotli Colony Welfare Trust.

Defying threats and abuses, Deepika had embarked on an arduous journey to provide justice to the eight-year-old tribal nomad girl who was brutally gang-raped in a religious place for days before being strangulated to death in Kathua district in January 2018.

 Deepika, who is also the chairperson of `Voice for Rights’, an NGO working for the protection of Human Rights, had to face threats and verbal abuses. She however did not give up and continued to appear for the victim’s parents.

Even famous Hollywood star Emma Watson, known for portraying the character of Hermoine Granger in the popular Harry Potter movies had hailed the 41-year-old advocate for pleading the case of the parents of the eight-year-old rape and murder victim of Kathua.

In November 2018, she was removed as an advocate on record in the trial court at Pathankot. The victim’s father had noted that he was satisfied with the progress of the case dealt by the prosecution lawyers including SS Basra, Jagdishwar Kumar Chopra, and others.

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