"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

Visiting Human Rights Defender from India introduced to BC Legislature Featured

A courageous lawyer who stood up for the family of an eight-year-old victim of brutal rape and murder in India received a warm reception at the BC Legislature on Thursday, May 16.

Deepika Singh Rajawat, who stepped forward to take up the case of Asifa Bano – a Muslim nomad girl who was raped and murdered by Hindu fundamentalists in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir in January 2018 - was introduced to the Legislature by Surrey Greentimbers MLA Rachna Singh.

 

Rajawat came under vicious attack from supporters of the ruling right wing Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for coming to the defence of the victim’s family. An undeterred Rajawat worked tirelessly to get the hearing of the case transferred outside the state to ensure a fair trial.  

 

The accused had allegedly conspired to use rape as a weapon to terrorise the Muslim community.  They were openly defended by the BJP supporters.

 

Rajawat took personal risk while taking up the issue. She has been invited to Canada by Indians Abroad for Pluralist India (IAPI), that was established in response to growing attacks on religious minorities under the BJP government that wants to turn India into a Hindu theocracy. IAPI is going to honour her with a medal of courage at a public event on Saturday, May 18 between 2-4 pm at Surrey Central Library. The brief ceremony will be followed by her speech on the current situation in India.

 

On Thursday, she was introduced to the Legislature by Singh, who had also raised the issue of Asifa Bano in the legislative assembly last year.

 

Singh is known for her advocacy against bigotry. The members of the house welcomed Rajawat with huge applause.  

 

Later, Rajawat met BC Premier John Horgan outside the legislature. Horgan welcomed her to the legislature on behalf of the people of the province.

 

 

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Last modified on Friday, 17 May 2019 15:05
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