New Delhi, April 16: Amid public outrage over Kathua and Unnao rape cases, Congress President Rahul Gandhi today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fast track cases of rapes of minors and punish the guilty if he was serious about providing justice to the country's daughters.
Gandhi pointed out that there were as many as 19,675 cases of rapes of minor children in 2016, terming them as "shameful".
"There were 19,675 rapes of minor children reported in 2016. This is shameful. PM should fast track these cases and punish the guilty if he is serious about providing justice for our daughters," Gandhi said on Twitter, using the hashtag 'SpeakUp'.
His remarks come days after the prime minister said that the guilty in the Kathua and Unnao incidents would not be spared and the country's daughters will get justice.
Expressing anguish over the two incidents which have triggered widespread outrage, the prime minister had said such crimes challenge the very concept of social justice "and as a society and a country we all are ashamed of it."
"I want to assure the nation that no criminal will be spared. Justice will be done. Our daughters will get justice. We all will have to work together to end this internal evil," he had said at an event last week.
In Kathua, an eight-year-old girl was gangraped and murdered while in Unnao, a 17-year-old has accused a BJP MLA of raping her.
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi today alleged that the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case in which all the five accused facing trial were acquitted, had not been pursued properly by anti-terror investigative agency NIA.
Hyderabad Lok Sabha member Owaisi alleged on a micro-blogging site that most of the witnesses in the Mecca Masjid blast case had turned hostile after June 2014 and the NIA either didn't pursue the case as was expected from it or was not allowed by its political masters to do so.
Asserting that "justice hasn't been done in the case," Owassi said "questions would be raised over the criminal justice system (of the country) if such biased prosecutions continue."
The firebrand MP alleged that the Modi government did not even appeal against the bail given to the accused earlier.
"Justice has not been done, the NIA & the Modi govt didn't even appeal against the bail that was given to the accused within 90 days. This was a complete biased investigation which will weaken our resolve to fight terrorism," said Owaisi, recaling that nine persons had died and many more were injured in the 2007 blast.
A special NIA court here today acquitted five persons, including Swami Aseemanand, in the case. Nine persons had been killed and 58 injured in the blast.
Ten persons were named as accused in the case but only five of them were arrested and sent up for trial.
The five who faced trial included Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, Bharat Mohan Lal Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai and Rajendra Choudhary.
Two other accused in the case, Sandeep V Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra are still absconding, while another accused Sunil Joshi had died.
The NISA is still probing the case against the two absconding remaining accused.