Jammu and Kashmir News
Jammu, May 26: BJP’s Chief spokesman and advocate Sunil Sethi has appeared in the court as counsel to seek bail for the SHO, who has been accused of raping a woman in the Khour police station.
Although the advocate has appeared in the court as a professional advocate, but his action have managed to evoke strong reactions from within and outside the party.
The state president of the BJP’s Mahila Morcha, Purnima Sharma, told a local daily that they strongly object the action of their party’s office-bearer because appearing as a counsel for a rape accused is sends a wrong message in society. She added that the issue will be taken up with the party leadership because it is in contrast to the “save girl campaign”. The Mahila Morcha activists would soon be meeting the victim’s family to offer them support andensure justice.
The crime by a police official has evoked strong reactions from different quarters of society, but the leadership of the ruling BJP has so far maintained “silence” over the issue.
An SHO of the J&K Police, Mohammad Iqbal was arrested on May 11 on the charges of having raped a “victim” at a police station on the border belt of the Akhnoor Sub-Division. A woman cop, who allegedly felicitated execution of this crime, was also taken into custody by the police.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) president, Gulchaion Singh Charak, has alleged that an application was moved by the BJP’s chief spokesperson to grant bail to the main accused has exposed the double standards of the self-pro-claimed pro-Jammu party. He further added that no doubt Sunil Sethi is a professional advocate, but since he is also the chief spokesman of the ruling party, his appearance as defense counsel of the rape accused will demoralize the victim’s family. He continued bashing the accused, saying that it is the rarest of the rare crime, because the woman in this case was raped within the premises of the Police Station and that too by the SHO. Such a situation only compromises the trust of the already agonized people.
Meanwhile, some women activists under the leadership of Komal Singh Manhas staged a protest against the BJP for defending the rape accused. Komal said the lower court had denied bail to the accused and now “top leadership of the BJP had come forward in support of the accused”. Komal and some other social activists want to approach BJP’s National President Amit Shah, the National General Secretary, Ram Madhav, and National Mahila Morcha Chief on this issue. Some social activists have also decided to bring this matter to the notice of the Sangh Parivar too. Despite repeated attempts, the BJP’s chief spokesman was not available for comment.