MATHURA: In a shocking statement, veteran Bollywood actress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Hema Malini on Saturday said that instances of rapes and crimes against women are receiving more publicity now.
“Abhi jyada iska publicity ho raha hai aajkal. Pehle bhi shayad ho raha hoga maloom nahin tha. Lekin iske upar zaroor dhyan diya jaayega (Such cases are receiving more publicity now-a-days. Such cases might be happening earlier too, there was no info. But there will be focus on such issues),” the BJP lawmaker said.
“Aisa jo haadsa ho raha hai nahin hona chahiye, isse desh ka bhi naam kharab ho raha hai (Such incidents should not happen. It also reflects our country in a bad light),” she added.
The actress' comments came amid massive protests across the country over the recent string of rape crimes against minors including horrific incidents from Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua, Uttar Pradesh's Unnao and Gujarat's Surat.
In Kathua, an eight-year-old girl from a nomadic community was brutally tortured, raped for weeks before being killed. The rape victim had disappeared from a spot near her house in Kathua on 10 January and a week later, her body was found in the same area. A Special Investigation Team of Jammu and Kashmir Police Crime Branch, formed to probe the incident, has arrested eight people, including two special police officers (SPOs) and a head constable and a sub-inspector, who was charged with destroying evidence, reported news agency PTI.
In Surat, the body of the minor girl with 86 injury marks, believed to be in the age group of 9 to 11 years, was found in Bhestan area on April 6. Following a five-hour-long post-mortem, it was revealed that the girl was raped and tortured for at least eight days, and was later strangled to death.
In the Unnao case, the victim alleged that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar at his residence on June 4, 2017, where she had gone with a relative seeking a job.
In February, the girl's family moved court seeking to include the MLA's name in the rape case. After this move, the survivor's father was booked by the police under the Arms Act on April 3 this year and put in jail on April 5. Frustrated over the inaction of law enforcement agencies, the victim and her family attempted self-immolation in front of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath's house on April 8. The very next day, her father died in jail with a post-mortem report suggesting serious injuries on his body.
With agency inputs