June 14, 2018
The advocate in the Kathua rape case fears for her safety but says she will continue the good fight
Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat has not had it easy, ever since she took up the case of an eight-year old girl who was raped and murdered in Kathua in Jammu Kashmir: ostracised by the bar association and called names. But her resolve keeps her going. The young advocate came to Mumbai to receive the Woman of the Year award by the Indian Merchant Chambers Ladies Wing of Commerce and Industry. She enrolled as a lawyer in 2009 with the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and served as member of the Juvenile Welfare Board for Jammu district from 2010 to 2013. She tells The Hindu of her isolation and says she fears for her safety.
Did you always want to take up law?
Oh yes. I have always wanted to fight. Fight a fight through the law; fight inside court. And I am doing just that. I love my work.
How did life change after you took up the Kathua case?
So many things happened. I am being told I am ‘anti nationalist’. If supporting a child is being anti nationalist, then I will wear it as a badge. The J&K Bar is treating me very badly and has ostracised me. I am being isolated. I had a problem looking out for a home, now I have one and have a problem looking for a place to work.
Is it because you are a woman?
Yes, and more than that because I am a Hindu supporting a Muslim.
Do you fear for your safety?
Yes, because right now everyone is watching but if they get a chance they will definitely cause me damage. I am not scared because I am protected by my god and I believe that a supernatural power protects everyone.