Kathua, Unnao rape cases: Rahul Gandhi leads midnight protest at India Gate

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In the last few days, not only the opposition but also, common people have been criticizing PM Narendra Modi for his "loud" silence on reports of frightful gang rape in Unnao and Kathua. "Our daughters will get justice", he said at an event to inaugurate the B.R. Ambedkar memorial in New Delhi.

"India is waiting", Mr. Gandhi tweeted, using the hashtag "SpeakUp".

Expressing distress over the rape of 18-year-old woman in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district and gangrape and murder of eight-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district, the Congress party has organised the midnight march here and appealed everyone to join it.

Rahul Gandhi joined the protest around midnight. The government's slogan of "Beti Bachao (save the girl child) " has turned into "betion ko BJP se bachaon", said Congress leader Randeep Surjewala. After large-scale condemnation, Maneka Gandhi, the Union women and child development minister, on Friday finally broke her silence and said that her ministry would move a cabinet note on Monday to amend the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act to ensure death penalty for those who rape minors.

She added: "The position of women in India is being undermined more and more, and it has increased under this government".

Information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani said stern action would be taken against those found guilty in the Unnao rape case and condemned what she said were efforts to "politicise" such cases.

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The eight-year-old girl belonging to a nomadic Muslim tribe in Kathua district was allegedly abducted, drugged, raped, tortured and killed in January. "We are all ashamed as a society, as a country". He asked people to not fall into the "trap of the parties who have sold their souls to the Congress party that has only humiliated Babasaheb and never given the Dalits their place in society".

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said they were protesting to awaken the Modi government from its "slumber".

On the instruction of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, party members will hold candlelight march in all state capitals protest over the Kathua and Unnao rape cases.

Before Thursday, Rahul had courted much criticism over his conspicuous silence on the Kathua case, despite weighing in on the alleged Unnao crime.

Sengar was questioned by the CBI on Friday, while seven men who raped the minor girl of the Bakarwal community in Jammu have been chargesheeted and kept in police custody. The J&K Police have arrested 8 culprits in connection with the crime.