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29 May. Lucknow. Save the Children seeks urgent action and a speedy trial of the arrested suspects -- and also continued action by police to arrest the remaining suspects who remain on the run -- in the gang rape and murder of two sisters in Uttar Pradesh this Wednesday. While the police has reacted to the demands of the angry villagers who strongly protested the rapes in Katra village, it is necessary that strong action be taken, and maximum punishment to be meted out, in accordance with the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act and IPC laws to send a clear message to put a halt on such gruesome crimes against girls. Save the Children also warned that the rising violence against children must be recognized as a priority for the new Central government, since there is a risk of immunity given the recurrence of these crimes across the country.
About one-third of rape victims in India are below the age of 18 years. Children are easy prey for criminals because the need to protect child rights is not taken seriously, claims Save the Children. The international media has been quick to provide prominent coverage of the incident – highlighting how India is becoming increasingly unsafe for women and travel by foreigners. The New Delhi-based NGO hopes that media attention would also focus on the plight of children from marginalized communities, such as the Dalits in this case. This case becomes even more astounding because of the suspected negligence of two police officers in this crime.
“This is a horrific incident and part of an alarming trend of brutal violence against women, particularly against those from marginalised communities,” says Shireen Vakil Miller, Advocacy Director, Save the Children, “urgent, concerted action needs to be taken , in accordance with the law to halt it.”
Save the Children supports initiatives such as ‘End Violence Against Children in India’, which is being put together by a national alliance of child rights organisations.
Save the Children works in 16 states of India and 120 countries around the world for child rights.