Arunachal, 6th October: On Sunday, a sit-in protest was organized through social media by the citizens of Arunachal Pradesh, to censure the gang-rape incident of Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, demanding justice for the deceased victim, Manisha Valmiki. Mostly the youths and senior citizens of the state took part in this protest. The protest was organized at IG Park.

A renowned social activist Jarjum Ete said, “If we want to see India grow in the 21st century at world level, we need to end Hindu casteism. We need to stop atrocities and deprivation against Dalits and minorities.

Ete also mentioned that numerous cases of sexual violation have been reported from schools in Arunachal but they never come to the authority’s notice. She also called upon young Arunachalees to raise their voice against “casteist violence, sexual exploitation of children, domestic violence, and gender violence.

“There have been innumerable sexual violations and violence against children in the schools. Many parents are actually silenced by the school management, the local community and the district administration,” said Ete, and requested the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights to actively support programmes for children’s rights in the state.

Researcher, writer and activist Ngurang Reena said, “The use of rape as a tool of oppression and control in caste-race atrocities is pervasive. Upper caste men violate women’s bodies to ‘teach them a lesson. This constant sexualization of women’s bodies, especially women from the marginalized communities, such as Dalit, tribals, Adivasis and other religious minorities, is a reality and needs to be condemned.”

Association of women’s body with war and violence is an old phenomenon and the recent sexual assault and death of the Dalit woman in UP’s Hathras is a reminder of the state of women’s position in our society,” Reena said.

“Women continue to exist as a secondary gender in today’s India, and our social identities determine our political rights. I call out the prevalent sexual violence; I am calling out caste-based violence; I am calling out patriarchy that celebrates violence. And women’s rights are dismal in Arunachal Pradesh, as well. Gender-based violence and sexual violence on women here need to be called out, as well,” Reena added.

“We need to come together to amplify our voices because we all are humans first. Stop discriminating against people on the basis of gender; stand up for each other. It is our right to speak up for everyone,” a young boy taking part in the protest said.

The 19-year-old Dalit girl was gang-raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh. She was grievously injured to an extent where her spine was broken and her tongue cut off. The incident took place on September 14. She battled for her life for 15 days and then dies in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday, September 29. Her body was brought to their village around midnight and the police burnt the body without the family’s permission.