Woman journalist recalls her conversations with the rape survivors of Muzaffarnagar

Woman journalist recalls her conversations with the rape survivors of Muzaffarnagar

In a political climate right now in the country where people are being lynched and there are hate crimes all across. This is not a good precedent. Where people are now beginning to believe that they have a free hand to kill anyone, rape anyone or hurt anyone because they are from a majority religion and they can get away with it. Even if there is a police complaint against them and nothing will be going to happen in the court and there will be no justice. That is very dangerous.

Neha Dixit an independent journalist who was covering Muzaffarnagar riots when they broke out in 2013 met and spoke to women at the camps across Shamli and Muzaffarnagar districts. Recalling her conversations with the rape survivors of Muzaffarnagar, she says, ‘nurses who were providing medical aid to the people at the camps told me that they found some women had scars on their breasts. And they had been attacked with knives and swords on their breasts.’

She says a lot of the women hadn’t even told their family members that they had gone through sexual violence. Some of the women recounted that the mobs were loudly shouting, ‘‘Pick up Muslims’ mothers and sisters.’’ They played dhol and DJ almost like celebrating their act of sexual violence against the women of the Muslim community.

Of the nearly 100 women who were raped only seven women actually mustered the courage to go to the court and file cases of rape against their perpetrators. The journalist says, one among the seven women who filed the case, her son was actually threatened in the middle of a market in Shamli where a pistol was pointed at him and the woman was told, “If you do not withdraw the case, we are going to kill you.” Hence out of the seven cases only one woman continues to fight her case and the rest of them have withdrawn.

Dixit says, now the UP government is trying to withdraw cases against the many accused. While in Nirbhaya’s case, the accused were sentenced to death, even after five years, there’s not a single conviction in the Muzaffarnagar rapes.

Dixit deplores ‘In a political climate right now in the country where people are being lynched and there are hate crimes all across. This is not a good precedent. Where people are now beginning to believe that they have a free hand to kill anyone, rape anyone or hurt anyone because they are from a majority religion and they can get away with it. Even if there is a police complaint against them and nothing will be going to happen in the court and there will be no justice. That is very dangerous.’

Watch video:

https://www.thequint.com/voices/women/neha-dixit-on-muzaffarnagar-riots-2013