June 29, 2018
An Indian woman who’s leading a fight for justice for the family of an eight-year-old victim of gang rape and murder in Kashmir was honoured at a community event in Surrey on June 24.
Deepika Singh Rajawat is legal counsel for the family of Asifa Bano, a Muslim nomad girl who was abducted by Hindu extremists in January. The horrific crime was part of a conspiracy to create fear in the minds of Muslims and force them to flee Kathua region in the Indian-administered area.
The body of Asifa, as she’s know by in India, was later found in a forest. The forensic evidence and police investigation established that she was held captive for several days inside a temple, sedated, and raped before being murdered.
The story did not end there. The arrests of the suspects, including a special police officer, sparked angry protests from those with allegiance to India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party.
They wanted those arrested to be released. So much so, they hoisted the Indian national flag during a march in support of the alleged perpetrators.
Rajawat has been facing threats on social media for standing up for Asifa, whose brutal rape and murder caused worldwide outrage. There have been angry protests in Canada, too.
In addition, Rajawat has also faced hostility from many male lawyers, including those defending the accused.
She was in Surrey to attend an annual community fair organized by Trinjan, a progressive group of women that’s been active in the South Asian community for many years. Amy Ghuman Sara, who has been instrumental behind Trinjan, is known for raising awareness for gender equality.
Deepika Singh Rajawat speaks at about 55:00