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Bihar rape: Opposition leaders unite in protest

The Rashtriya Janata Dal led a protest by all Opposition parties against the alleged mass rape at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, at Jantar Mantar here on Saturday.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav was joined by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D. Raja and Atul Kumar Anjan, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav and Trinamool Congress’ Dinesh Trivedi.

Mr. Gandhi said that the country had made up its mind against the BJP government. Pointing out that the Opposition was united on the stage, Mr. Gandhi said, “On one side is the BJP/RSS and on the other is the rest of the country. Indians are saying that they do not like what happened in the last four years.”

‘Act immediately’

Mr. Gandhi said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar must immediately act against the culprits in the sexual assault case in the Muzzafarpur shelter.

In a 12-minute speech, Tejashwi Yadav accused the Nitish Kumar government of turning a blind eye to the crime. “Nitish ji says he is hurt and is sad. Then why did he get the prime accused Brajesh Thakur’s name removed from the FIR… why did he take this long to act on social audit by TISS?” he questioned.

He said that Bihar was living under ‘Rakshas Raj’, drawing upon references from the
Mahabharata
and the
Ramayana
. “In Bihar, Raavan is kidnapping Sita every minute. Every minute, a Duryodhan is de-robing a Draupadi,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said fast track courts should be set up to award the death sentence to the accused for such a heinous crime.”I demand that this case be probed in three months and the accused be hanged,” he said.

He also sought to remind the JD(U)-BJP government in Bihar that the foundation of the UPA government had been rocked following the protest over Nirbhaya’s rape.

This was the first political protest where Mr. Gandhi shared the stage with Mr Kejriwal. During Mr Kejriwal’s protest at the Delhi Lieutenant Governor’s office, the Congress had refused to support AAP.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said BJP’s slogan “beti bachao” needed reworking. “We need to change this government… the slogan of ‘beti bachao’ is now ‘save beti from BJP’,” he said. Former JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said the BJP was not saving the daughters of the country but was busy saving cows.

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