“I was Not Afraid of Taking Up Case of Kathua Victim Because Of My Trust In Judiciary” – Deepika Singh Rajawat

“I was Not Afraid of Taking Up Case of Kathua Victim Because Of My Trust In Judiciary” – Deepika Singh Rajawat

I don’t want to prove my nationalism to anyone. Nationalism runs in my blood. I am just against this culture of abuse”, she said.

Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat, the lawyer appearing for the victim’s family in Kathua rape-murder case, said: “I was not afraid of taking up care of Kathua victim because of my trust in the judiciary”. She was speaking at Cochin in the Conclave organized by Manorama News TV.  She recalled with anguish the harassment and abuse she had to face for appearing in the Kathua case.  She had to face rape and death threats from some of the lawyers of Jammu Bar Association for appearing in the case. Taking note of the hostile environment in the State of J&K, the Supreme Court had directed to give security to Deepika Singh Rajawat and transferred the trial of the case to Punjab.

She poured her heart out at the Conclave describing the ghastly nature of Kathua case. She was moved to tears while narrating the plight of the eight-year-old girl, who got raped and murdered in Kathua.

What kind of people are we if an eight-year-old cannot feel safe and free here?” She asked.

She also said that an air of intolerance was prevalent in the country, and the “fighters for freedom” are subjected to harassment and threats. She impassionedly said, “I don’t see my country, which is close to my heart, free now. In an atmosphere where minors are getting raped, when people are getting lynched, we are not free. When fighters for freedom are called anti-nationals, our country is not free. When our daughters, mothers, and sisters do not feel safe and free, our country is not free”.

She said that the Kathua case was politicised by bringing religious agenda in it. She said she was finding it difficult to get accommodation in Jammu after Kathua case because many people fell for the propaganda that she was  “anti-national”.

I don’t want to prove my nationalism to anyone. Nationalism runs in my blood. I am just against this culture of abuse”, she said.

She also added that “character assassination was more harmful than actual physical harm”.

She affirmed her faith and trust in judiciary, and said that judiciary has intervened effectively in Kathua case to prevent a miscarriage of justice. A lesser-known fact about her- that she was fighting case for a woman who was raped by a judicial officer in Jammu- was revealed in the conclave. Following the legal fight led by Rejawat, the judicial officer was arrested and is currently under suspension by the High Court. She said that these cases have given her the hope that justice will be won if we fight for it. “We don’t have to be silent spectators, break your silence”.

She also highlighted the tendency of the mainstream to mock those who fight for rights of women. She gave an indication of the misogynistic and sexist outlook harboured by members of the legal fraternity when she said that she has been in the receiving end of ridicule and derision from some of her colleagues for espousing gender issues. “Don’t make fun of rights of women”, she asserted.

During June, Deepika Singh Rejawat was awarded the “woman of the year” award by Indian Merchant’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ladies Wing for her courage and dedication shown in Kathua case. Then, she had expressed that the real award for her will be when the country is abuse free.

At the conclave, she said “ I want to see my country getting civilised and developed with pious thoughts and clean intentions”